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We’re leading an all-out national mobilization to defeat the climate crisis.

Join our work today to help us build a thriving and just clean energy future. 

EPA Must Accelerate Rulemakings to Leave Transportation Pollution in the Dust

Vehicles are a leading source of pollution that cause heart and lung diseases and contribute to climate change. EPA must take three important steps to curb transportation pollution and protect vulnerable communities.

by Evergreen Action and GreenLatinos

Cars and trucks are the greatest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. But vehicle emissions are just as much of a threat to public health as they are to the climate. Cars and trucks produce significant carbon dioxide emissions, and also emit co-pollutants like particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) that create smog and cause respiratory irritation and exacerbate illnesses such as asthma. Diesel trucks are so dangerous to public health that areas with heavy truck traffic are literally called “diesel death zones” because exposure to truck soot pollution causes lung diseases and death.

By tackling pollution in the transportation sector, President Biden has the power to fight climate change and deliver significant public health benefits to the communities hit hardest by death and illness caused by transportation pollution. The Biden administration set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas pollution economy-wide by 50-52 percent by 2030; transportation pollution makes up nearly a third of all greenhouse gas pollution in the country. With only two years left in the President's first term, strong standards must be put in place to reduce vehicle pollution by accelerating the transition to electric vehicles. 

To live up to the President’s climate target and protect communities impacted by vehicle pollution, the administration must develop more aggressive timelines for vehicle emission standards by: 

  1. Accelerating the rulemaking timeline for clean cars standards, 
  2. Finalizing NOx heavy-duty vehicle regulations and starting the rulemaking for heavy-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards by December 2022, and
  3. Immediately approving California’s vehicle waiver

Download the full memo now. 

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In June President Biden said, “I will do everything in my power to clean our air and water, protect our people’s health, to win the clean energy future.” Living up to this promise means using every available tool EPA has to reduce vehicle pollution at the pace the climate crisis and suffering communities demand. 

Here’s what’s at stake:

  • EPA can lower pollution for cars made between 2027-2030—but they must act now to make sure the new rule is effective
  • EPA proposed a rule to reduce pollution from heavy-duty trucks by 60% by 2045—but seven months later, they still haven’t finalized it.
  • Earlier this year, California submitted a waiver to EPA asking permission to regulate truck pollution even further, inspiring five other states to follow suit. But EPA has yet to approve this life-saving request.

Through it all, communities of color continue to suffer the worst effects of transportation pollution. Disproportionate rates of asthma, lung cancer, and heart disease make it clear: This is an urgent environmental justice issue. Take action now.