Lung Association Applauds Nevada Legislature Actions to Clean Up Transportation Pollution

With only six days left in session, the Nevada Legislature has taken bold actions to clean up transportation pollution and improve Nevada’s air quality. Both Assembly Bill 349 (Assemblymember Howard Watts) to close the classic car loophole and reduce ozone (“smog”) pollution and Senate Bill 448 (Senator Chris Brooks) to expand transportation electrification across the state passed out of their respective houses. If made law, these bills will reduce transportation pollution and advance Nevada’s path to cleaner, healthier air. 

“The American Lung Association 2021 ‘State of the Air’ report ranked Las Vegas 12th most ozone polluted city in the U.S., and tailpipe emissions are the largest contributor to our air quality and climate crisis” said Melissa Ramos, clean air advocacy manager for the American Lung Association. “Breathing ozone leads to negative health impacts such as worsened asthma attacks, respiratory and developmental harm, and poses a greater threat to low-income communities of color. 

Assembly Bill 349 will close the loophole that allows thousands of older, more polluting vehicles to bypass a required emissions “smog” check. It also changes the smog check program so required fees will allow air quality districts to create a repair/replace program while streamlining smog checks for new vehicles. By closing the classic car loophole and modernizing the program, the state can clean up or replace some of the most polluting vehicles on our roads.  

“Our Assemblymembers have shown a strong commitment to cleaning up transportation pollution by passing Assembly Bill 349, so all Nevadans can breathe healthier air,” said JoAnna Strother, senior advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “Closing the classic car loophole will protect our health and clean our air - we urge the Senate to take up and pass this important clean air legislation.”

Senate Bill 448 addresses harmful air and climate pollution by supporting widespread transportation electrification (TE). This will expand charging stations across the state, including 40% direct investments in communities most overburdened by air pollution, to ensure equitable distribution of clean air benefits of zero-emission vehicles. The American Lung Association 2020 “Road to Clean Air” report found Nevadans may enjoy nearly $750 million in public health benefits annually through zero-emission transportation.  

“The passage of Senate Bill 448 also marks an important step toward cleaning the air through the expansion of zero-emission vehicle infrastructure,” said Melissa Ramos. “Equitable access to the air quality and health benefits of zero-emission transportation is critical to ensuring all Nevadans can breathe clean, healthy air.”

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