Lung Association Applauds Nevada Governor Sisolak Signing Clean Air Legislation into Law

This week, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed both Assembly Bill 349, closing the “smog check” classic car loophole and Senate Bill 448 which sets electric vehicle infrastructure into law. These actions will have significant public health benefits by cutting harmful tailpipe emissions and encouraging the transition towards transportation electrification.

“We’re grateful to have Governor Sisolak protect Nevadans from breathing unhealthy air pollution by implementing legislation that will get the most polluting vehicles repaired or off the road” said Melissa Ramos, clean air advocacy manager for the American Lung Association. “He continues to champion policies that reduce emissions to get us on track to meet our state’s air and climate goals.”

Assembly Bill 349 (Assemblymember Howard Watts) restores the Classic Car program so the most polluting vehicles will no longer be able to bypass a required emissions “smog” check without providing proof of specialty insurance. It also allows air quality districts to implement a repair/replace program and modernizes the smog check schedule for new vehicles. Closing the classic car loophole will reduce smog from the transportation sector so all Nevadans can breathe healthier air.    

“The Nevada Legislature also supported widespread transportation electrification which will save Nevadans millions of dollars in public health costs,” said JoAnna Strother, senior advocacy director for the American Lung Association. “Zero-emission transportation can provide nearly $750 million in annual health benefits in Nevada associated with breathing less pollution.”

Senate Bill 448 (Senator Chris Brooks) covers a suite of policies aimed at investing in cleaner energy and zero-emission transportation. It invests $100 million in electric vehicle charging stations and electric buses, with a minimum of 40% investments in historically underserved communities. This prioritizes renewable energy expansion and energy efficiency to reduce emissions in the power sector by 80% in 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

The American Lung Association 2021 “State of the Air” report issued both Clark and Washoe counties ‘F’ grades for unhealthy ozone levels. Poor air quality contributes to negative health impacts including worsened asthma attacks, increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, and other developmental harm. Vulnerable populations including children, seniors, people of color, and low-income face greater risk of air pollution. 

“Nearly 1.5 million people of color in Nevada are breathing in unhealthy air,” said Strother. “We are grateful Governor Sisolak has signed AB349 and SB448 into law to clean up emissions from both the transportation and power sector. Reducing smog and expanding transportation electrification will safeguard all Nevadans’ health, especially populations overburdened with air pollution.”

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