EPA: We Need Strong Vehicle Pollution Standards!

EPA: We Need Strong Vehicle Pollution Standards!

Route Zero Relay in Minnesota

Community advocates and elected officials‚ÄĒ including Hennepin County Commissioner Marion Greene‚ÄĒ in Minneapolis at a ‚ÄúRoute Zero Relay‚ÄĚ press conference this summer. The group voiced their support for stronger pollution standards for heavy-duty trucks and the need for continued investment in a zero-emission transportation sector.

Photo Courtesy of Route Zero Relay

 

Dozens of local officials are echoing the call of communities: The Environmental Protection Agency should issue strong vehicle pollution standards for public health, climate, and environmental justice!

Below is a letter sent to EPA Administrator Michael Regan this summer:

Dear Administrator Regan:

On behalf of the 66 undersigned local officials, we urge the EPA to protect the health of our cities’ residents and fight climate change by finalizing the strongest clean car and truck vehicle emission standards before the end of 2023. 

EPA should finalize the most stringent standards possible for the Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Years 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles (LDV) and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles Phase 3 (HDV). We recommend these car and truck standards: 

  • Be aligned on rulemaking timelines;
  • Account for technological advances and cost-savings in zero-emission technologies, including those made possible by recent legislation;¬†
  • Achieve critically necessary reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other pollutants; and¬†
  • Be developed with thorough stakeholder involvement that ensures all affected communities can engage in the rulemaking process.

Ambitious federal standards, coupled with actions we are taking in our cities and towns to accelerate the use of clean vehicles, will enable our localities to more quickly cut transportation pollution and help ensure our residents and businesses have access to zero-emission technologies. 

Timelines

The sooner that long-term LDV and HDV standards are in place, the sooner that vehicle manufacturers and related companies will have the regulatory certainty needed to plan their decision-making, product development, and rollout. We urge the EPA to finalize both standards by the end of 2023.

Technological advances and cost savings             

EPA should ensure the LDV and HDV standards reflect major advancements in zero-emission technologies. Globally, there are more than 839 different models of zero-emission vans, trucks and buses commercially available with new models being introduced at an unprecedented rate.

Throughout the rulemaking process, EPA should also recognize and consider investments from the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Together, these two laws are expected to reduce adoption costs for ZEVs by providing at least $245 billion in federal funds‚ÄĒthrough tax credits, loans, and grants‚ÄĒto support ZEV charging infrastructure, manufacturing, and purchasing. Long-term regulatory certainty will push domestic manufacturers to take full advantage of these investments.

Critical pollution reductions

In 2020, the transportation sector contributed 27 percent of total GHG emissions in the United States‚ÄĒmore than any other single sector. Transport also contributes over 55 percent of our nation‚Äôs total nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. NOx and particulate matter pollution pose serious health risks, leading to devastating human health impacts including asthma, other respiratory issues, and even premature death.

Fast-tracking robust car and truck standards is critical for the United States to meet its GHG targets over the coming decade, meet Clean Air Act requirements and provide long-overdue protections for environmental justice communities. We believe that such standards would be consistent with the U.S. nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement, under which the United States committed to cut economy-wide GHG emissions by 50 to 52 percent in 2030, compared to 2005 levels. 

Stakeholder involvement

EPA must incorporate a robust and responsive stakeholder engagement process‚ÄĒ particularly for frontline communities. Transportation is a leading source of air pollution and disproportionately harms people on lower incomes and people of color. EPA must work with environmental justice communities to ensure they are included in decision-making processes.¬†

Outcomes

The final standards should: 

  • Ensure the LDV and HDV standards support greater zero-emission vehicle adoption by considering market growth expected from IRA and IIJA investments (which will surpass existing commitments outlined in Executive Order 14037);
  • Put the nation on a trajectory to ensure 100 percent of all LDVs and HDVs sold in 2035 are zero-emission vehicles including pathway milestones assuring continuous progress; and
  • Reflect recently adopted state LDV and HDV emissions standards, consistent with state authority under the Clean Air Act.

By implementing these recommendations, we believe that the resultant standards will not only meet the Clean Air Act’s statutory command to protect public health, but will also help lower fuel costs for consumers, create good, green jobs, and reduce burden on frontline communities. 

We thank you for your consideration as you work to finalize these life-saving standards this year.

Sincerely,

Mayor Becky Daggett           
Flagstaff, AZ

Mayor John J. Bauters              
Emeryville, CA

Mayor Chance Cutrano            
Fairfax, CA

Mayor Devin T. Murphy            
Pinole, CA

Mayor Matt Mahan            
San Jose, CA

Mayor Louise From           
University Heights, IA 

Jarrett Stoltzfus          
Councilmember, Ward 2           
Mount Rainier, MD

Martha Simon          
School Committee Member           
Burlington, MA

Katherine Golub, City Councilor         
Greenfield, MA

Samantha Perlman, City Councilor         
Marlborough, MA

Michael Bettencourt, Select Board Member           
Winchester, MA

John Hayes,           
Chair, Sustainability, Energy, and Resiliency Committee         
Salem, MA

Anthony (Tony) Palomba          
Councilor at-Large, City Council           
Watertown, MA

John Odell          
Chief, Department of Sustainability & Resilience           
Worcester, MA

Erica Briggs, Council Member            
Ann Arbor, MI

Mayor Christopher Taylor           
Ann Arbor, MI

Mayor Pro Tem Travis Radina, Councilmember, Ward 3           
Ann Arbor, MI

Andy LaBarre, Member of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners            
Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. Ajay V. Raman             
Oakland County Commissioner, District 14           
Novi, MI

Charlie Cavell          
Oakland County Commissioner          
Pontiac, MI

Brendan Johnson, Oakland County Commissioner       
Rochester Hills, MI

Kristen Nelson, Oakland County Commissioner       
Waterford, MI

Jeffrey Joneal Lunde, Hennepin County Commissioner       
Brooklyn Park, MN

Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz       
Burnsville, MN

Mayor Amáda Márquez Simula       
Columbia Heights, MN

Rachel James, Council Member       
Columbia Heights, MN

Justice Spriggs, M.D., Council Member       
Columbia Heights, MN

Mayor Emily Larson       
Duluth, MN

Mayor Ron Case       
Eden Prairie, MN

Brian Hunke, Council Member       
Hopkins, MN

Mayor Mary Gaasch       
Lauderdale, MN

Mayor Jacob Frey
Minneapolis, MN

Elliott Payne, Council Member       
Minneapolis, MN

Andrew Johnson, Council Member       
Minneapolis, MN

Robin Wonsley          
Council Member, Ward          
Minneapolis, MN

Aisha Chughtai       
Council Member, Ward 10       
Minneapolis, MN

Jason Chavez,       
Council Member, Ward 9       
Minneapolis, MN

Angela Conley       
Hennepin County Commissione       
Minneapolis, MN

Marion Greene       
Hennepin County Commissioner       
Minneapolis, MN

Steve Lindaas, Council Member       
Moorhead, MN

Mayor Shelly Carlson       
Moorhead, MN

Mayor William A. Blonigan       
Robbinsdale, MN

Mayor Kim Norton       
Rochester, MN

Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick, Council Member       
Rochester, MN

Julie Strahan, Council Member       
Roseville, MN

Mayor Melvin Carter
Saint Paul, MN

Mitra Jun Jalali, Council Member       
Saint Paul, MN

Nelsie Yang, Council Member       
Saint Paul, MN

Trista Matas Castillo       
Chair, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners       
Saint Paul, MN

Mayor Jake Spano       
St. Louis Park, MN

Mayor Pro Tem Braxton Winston       
Charlotte, NC

Dimple Ajmera, Council Member, At-large       
Charlotte, NC

Mayor Viola Lyles       
Charlotte, NC

Mayor Indya Kincannon       
Knoxville, TN

Mayor Justin Wilson       
Alexandria, VA

Mayor Mason Thompson       
Bothell, WA

Mayor Mike Nelson       
Edmonds, WA

Mayor Cassie Franklin       
Everett , WA

Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold       
Kirkland, WA

Amy Falcone, Council Member       
Kirkland, WA

Mayor Penny Sweet       
Kirkland, WA

Kelli Curtis, Council Member       
Kirkland, WA

Mayor Angela Birney       
Redmond, WA

Dow Constantine, King County Executive       
Seattle, WA

Teresa Mosqueda, Council Member       
Seattle, WA

Ryan N. Mello, Chair, Pierce County Council       
Tacoma, WA