EPA Proposal to Clean Up Truck Emissions Would Prevent Asthma Attacks, Reduce Smog and Soot and Save Lives

In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed rules to limit pollution from heavy-duty vehicles, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer issued the following statement:

“EPA’s proposal is good news for everyone who breathes, especially those who live near a highway, truck stop, port or distribution center. It would require lifesaving reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions and other pollution from heavy-duty vehicles.

“Nitrogen oxides are dangerous. On their own, these emissions can cause lifelong lung damage to people who live close to truck traffic. Nitrogen oxides also react in the atmosphere to form ground-level ozone and particulate matter. Ozone and particulate matter are widespread air pollutants that cause a wide range of adverse health effects including asthma attacks and even premature death. EPA estimates a strong final rule will prevent up to 2,100 premature deaths in 2045.

“This action is an important piece of the puzzle in addressing the dangerous pollution that comes from trucks, buses and delivery vans. Today’s proposal also includes improvements in greenhouse gas emissions standards for new heavy-duty vehicles.

“We stand with the health community to call for the strongest final standards – a 90% reduction in diesel truck emissions. Time is of the essence: the administration must finalize this proposal by the end of 2022 for the nation to realize the full health benefits of the rule. If the agency misses this window of opportunity, it will mean a full additional year of production of polluting trucks.

“Moreover, the administration must build on today’s proposal by driving a nationwide transition to zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles. Future rules must achieve the goal of 100% zero-emission new heavy-duty vehicle sales.

“Reducing emissions from diesel trucks is a critical step toward advancing health equity and addressing climate change. We urge EPA to strengthen and quickly finalize the rule and take additional action to transition away from diesel to zero-emission vehicles.”

For more information, contact:

Jill Dale
[email protected]

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