American Lung Association Disappointed with Maine Rejecting Car Standards for Cleaner Air

Maine’s rejection of updated car pollution standards misses opportunity to improve air quality and public health in Maine

Yesterday, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection rejected an update to the state’s rules on tailpipe emissions and zero-emission cars that would have protected the public from harmful air pollution from passenger vehicles. The rejection of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule, which comes after over a year of a public rulemaking process, marks the first time in 23 years that the Board of Environmental Protections has refused to adopt stricter tailpipe standards. 

Lance Boucher, Assistant Vice President of State Public Policy at the American Lung Association, issued the following statement in response to today’s vote:  

“Maine’s rejection of better tailpipe standards and zero-emission rules is a failure for clean air and lung health. Advanced Clean Cars II would have increased the availability of and supported the state’s transition to pollution-free vehicles, which will ultimately save lives and reduce lung health emergencies. We urge Maine to adopt Advanced Clean Cars II through a legislative or alternative pathway at the nearest opportunity.” 

The defeat of this critical air quality opportunity foregoes billions of dollars in public health savings and avoided public health impacts. The Lung Association’s Driving to Clean Air report published in June 2023 noted that Maine could see $3.6 billion public health benefits savings by cutting passenger vehicle emissions, including avoiding approximately 330 premature deaths, 4,770 asthma attacks, and 25,200 lost workdays—by 2050 if a widespread shift to 100% zero-emissions passenger vehicle sales and clean, non-combustion electricity were to occur by 2035. 

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2023 report found that three counties – Cumberland, Hancock, and York – received a “C” grade for high ozone pollution. This air pollution is particularly harmful for the 18,045 children and 141,692 adults with asthma and the tens of thousands of Mainers more vulnerable to air pollution due to age or medical conditions. 

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Solomon
(516) 680-8927
[email protected]

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