For Immediate Release - July 03, 2013

AG Coakley Urges EPA to Adopt Tighter National Air Pollution Controls for Passenger Cars and Trucks

Proposed Rule Will Cut Emissions of Smog-Producing Pollutants by 80% and Soot By 70%; Rule Will Equal Taking 33 Million Vehicles off The Road

BOSTON – In an effort to bring substantial public health and economic benefits by setting new vehicle emission and fuel standards beginning in 2017, a coalition of 15 states and cities sent a letter on Tuesday to the Acting Administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the swift adoption of a newly-proposed rule for reducing air pollution from passenger cars and trucks, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

AG Coakley and the coalition are urging the EPA to fully adopt the "Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards" rule, proposed by the agency in March, which is estimated to reduce motor vehicle emissions of smog-producing pollution by 80 percent and soot pollution by 70 percent. The coalition letter urges the EPA to finalize this critically-important rule by the end of 2013.

“EPA’s proposed rule has enormous potential to clean up pollution from cars and trucks which is causing harmful ground level ozone,” AG Coakley said. “Our office will continue the fight to protect residents from air pollution by urging the EPA to limit these emissions.”    

As stated in the letter, poor air quality threatens the health of more than 150 million people in the U.S., especially children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory diseases. The cost estimate for air pollution-related illnesses is $150 billion per year. The pollution reductions achieved by the standards would have the same effect as taking 33 million of today’s vehicles off the road during the 2017 to 2025 period of the rule’s applicability.  

The proposed rule would set new emission standards for passenger cars, light-duty trucks and certain medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles starting in 2017. The rule's proposed tailpipe standards, which would limit emissions of smog-producing nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compound emissions and soot pollution, would be phased in between 2017 and 2025. Proposed standards reducing allowable sulfur content of motor vehicle fuels would go into effect January 1, 2017.

Joining AG Coakley in today's letter were the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, and the Corporation Counsels of Chicago and New York City.   

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