Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rules to limit emissions of nitrogen oxides from heavy-duty vehicles. In response to the final rules, American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer issued the following statement:
“EPA’s new final rule to limit truck pollution is an important step to clean up emissions, especially for Americans who live near a highway, truck stop, port or distribution center. This new rule will significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions for new heavy-duty vehicles and prevent up to 2,900 premature deaths a year. The new rule also sets the stage for EPA to issue the next round of stronger standards to clean up trucks in 2023.
“Trucks represent a small fraction of total on-road vehicles but generate the greatest share of harmful air pollutants, including dangerous nitrogen oxides. 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 pollution. Today’s rule, when fully implemented, will cut truck nitrogen oxide pollution nearly in half (48%).
“The Lung Association and the health community have long called for EPA to finalize strong standards to reduce nitrogen oxides from heavy-duty vehicles, and then to write future rules to drive a nationwide transition to zero-emission trucks, buses and other heavy-duty vehicles. Today’s final rule is a step forward to curb dangerous pollution.
“Now, EPA must build on today’s rule and make good on their commitment to propose the next round of emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles by March 2023. These standards must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks to drive a nationwide transition to zero-emission vehicles. Our recent ‘Delivering Clean Air’ report found that in communities with major trucking routes, the transition to zero-emission trucks and electricity would save 66,800 lives by 2050. This transition is critical for improving public health, advancing health equity and addressing climate change.”
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.