EPA is considering new limits on dangerous nitrogen oxide emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, plus additional updates to greenhouse gas emissions from some vehicles. The agency has proposed a few different options for these new standards, and needs to hear from health experts that they should finalize the strongest options with the biggest benefits for public health.
Please add your name to join other health professionals nationwide in calling for strong new limits on pollution from heavy-duty vehicles.
The Honorable Michael S. Regan
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004
Re: Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards, Docket Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2019-0055; FRL-7165-03-OAR
Dear Administrator Regan:
As physicians, nurses, public health professionals and healthcare workers dedicated to providing our patients with a healthy future, we urge you to finalize strong emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles and to move toward a zero-emission trucking sector.
Pollution from diesel-powered trucks and buses puts the health of anyone who spends time outdoors at risk, but especially people living in communities near highways, ports, bus depots and other transportation hubs. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions can cause lung damage on their own and also form ground-level ozone and particle pollution. Ozone and particle pollution can lead to asthma attacks, cardiovascular and lung disease, strokes and even premature death.
Trucks and buses are also a source of the greenhouse gas emissions fueling climate change. The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear that the world remains incredibly vulnerable to catastrophic impacts of a warming climate. We see this in our communities. From extreme heat to flooding to wildfires, individuals’ lives and livelihoods are at risk.
In its 2022 “Zeroing in on Healthy Air” report, the American Lung Association found that a nationwide transition to zero-emission light, medium and heavy-duty vehicles, powered by non-combustion electricity, would save 110,000 lives and secure $1.2 trillion in public health benefits nationwide from 2020-2050.
We thank the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for proposing rules to slash NOx emissions from new heavy-duty vehicles, recognizing the need to immediately curb pollution from the millions of heavy-duty vehicles on the roads today. We also appreciate the agency continuing to lay the groundwork to transition to zero-emission vehicles by updating greenhouse gas standards within this proposal.
The health community is calling for EPA to choose the most health-protective option possible, achieve a 90% reduction in NOx pollution and finalize the rules by the end of 2022. We urge you to not only finalize strong standards, but also ensure real-world benefits by requiring pollution controls for the full lives of these vehicles and in realistic operating conditions.
Finally, we then urge EPA to move forward with the next phase of setting strong greenhouse gas standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles to drive the nationwide transition to zero-emission vehicles.
Page last updated: April 28, 2022