Public Health Support for Strong Clean Cars Standards | American Lung Association

Public Health Support for Strong Clean Cars Standards

Please sign this health professionals' letter calling for strong state and federal clean car standards to cut pollution and fight climate change. Opponents seek to weaken the current clean car standards and remove the right that all states have to adopt the stronger California program. Health voices must speak out to protect air quality and health.

February 2017

The Honorable Mary Nichols
Chair, California Air Resources Board
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Subject: Public Health Support for Strong Clean Cars Standards

Dear Chair Nichols:

On behalf of the undersigned health professionals across the United States, we write to support strong state and federal advanced clean car regulations to protect public health from motor vehicle pollution. We also write to urge the California Air Resources Board to continue its leadership by strengthening the clean car rules beginning in 2025 to advance the fight against air pollution and climate change. These state and federal rules are critical to keep our patients and our communities healthier and more resilient to the worst impacts of climate change.

Motor vehicles represent a major share of the air and climate pollutants harming communities in California and across the United States. Their contribution to health and climate threats makes adopting and enforcing the strongest possible motor vehicle standards vital. The changing climate threatens the health of Americans alive now and in future generations. Growing evidence over the past few years has demonstrated the multiple, profound, climate change risks that imperil the lives and health of millions. The increasing evidence of climate change health impacts together with the robust research demonstrating harm by pollution from motor vehicle emissions demonstrate the need for the strongest possible technology requirements to protect public health.

We support strong implementation of existing federal U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration vehicle emission standards as well as California's 2025 Advanced Clean Cars and Zero Emission Vehicle program authorized under the Clean Air Act. These federal and state standards are most effective when implemented jointly with the benefits of the standards delivered across the country. California's standards set the bar for curbing emissions of ozone-forming pollution, limiting deadly particles, and controlling climate pollution as they lead the nation forward on zero-emission technology.

Therefore, we offer the following recommendations in support of improving and protecting public health against pollution burdens and global climate change health impacts:

  • California and the federal government must implement current advanced clean car standards to protect public health. Federal EPA/NHTSA and California emission standards will deliver meaningful climate and public health benefits by 2025. We urge federal and state agencies to ensure the strong implementation of these rules in a coordinated manner in the best interests of public health, clean air and a healthy climate.
  • California should move forward now to develop post-2025 clean car and zero emission technology standards. California's leadership in developing more advanced clean car and zero emission technology standards is leading the way to cleaner air and a healthy climate. We urge the California Air Resources Board to begin development of the post-2025 standards now to further reduce ozone-forming pollutants, fine particles and climate pollution as well as to strengthen and extend the Zero Emission Vehicle standard. We urge the post-2025 zero emission vehicle program to ensure alignment with a 2050 goal of achieving a robust market with 100% zero emission vehicle sales.
  • California's authority to address motor vehicle pollution standards must be maintained. Other states should continue to have the opportunity to adopt California standards to maximize pollution reductions now and in the future. California's vehicle program has advanced clean technologies in the United States and around the world. It has brought tremendous benefits, not only to California residents, but to nationwide efforts to drive down pollution.

California's health-protective standards serve as a benchmark for clean air and climate protections needed across the United States. We support strong federal and state programs that follow California's example and ensure that all people are protected to the greatest extent possible from the serious health burdens of vehicle pollution.

Sincerely,

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