Lung Association Applauds Passage of Policies to Reduce Transportation Pollution in New Mexico

New standards will strengthen pollution controls for passenger cars and heavy-duty vehicles.

New Mexico has become the latest state to exercise its authority to better protect public health against transportation pollution. The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board and the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board have approved the Advanced Clean Cars II, Advanced Clean Trucks and the Low NOx Omnibus rules to reduce emissions from new vehicles sold in New Mexico. These rules will ensure vehicles ranging from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks will become cleaner over time while the state transitions to zero-emission vehicles over the coming decades. These policies will save lives and reduce asthma attacks by cleaning the air and will work to curb climate pollution that threatens public health.

JoAnna Strother, Senior Director of Advocacy with the American Lung Association in New Mexico, issued the following statement in response:

“We will all breathe easier when zero-emission technologies are the norm. New Mexico is home to some of the most polluted communities in the United States, and there’s no doubt that climate change is making the job of cleaning our air more difficult. Requiring the clean-up of the transportation sector is critical. We applaud New Mexico’s leaders for taking action to reduce harmful exhaust as new passenger vehicles and trucks are introduced over the coming years. New Mexico is moving toward a cleaner air future, and these new policies to control harmful emissions are a major step toward that goal.”

Transportation is a leading source of harmful air and climate pollution threatening the health of New Mexicans. Both Albuquerque and Las Cruces appear among the most ozone-polluted cities in the United States, according to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” 2023 report, and over half of New Mexicans live in a community impacted by unhealthy levels of air pollution. The Lung Association’s “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report noted that the pollution reduction benefits of the transition to zero-emission transportation and electricity generation could yield $3 billion in public health benefits, save 275 lives and avoid 7,400 asthma attacks and over 32,000 lost work days in New Mexico by 2050.

With this action, New Mexico joins a growing list of states that have acted upon their federal Clean Air Act authority to implement more health-protective vehicle emission controls. New Mexico had previously adopted cleaner technology requirements for passenger vehicles. Now, the state will implement policies to ensure more than 80 percent of new passenger vehicles sold in the state by 2032 will be zero-emission. Medium- and heavy-duty new truck sales will increasingly include zero-emission technologies out to 2035 while new combustion engines will be required to emit fewer harmful emissions.

For more information, contact:

New Mexico Media Contact

[email protected]

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