The call is becoming stronger for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a proposed rule to tighten emissions from motor vehicles.
The proposed Tier 3 Standards would set new emissions standards for passenger cars, light duty trucks and some medium and heavy duty vehicles beginning in 2017. Tailpipe standards limiting nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, known as VOCs, and soot would be phased in through 2025. Sulfur limits would be effective in 2017.
A coalition of fifteen states and cities, including Vermont, is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt the rule swiftly. Vermont Assistant Attorney General Thea Schwartz notes that it’s estimated that under the new guidelines smog emissions will be reduced by 80-percent and soot by 70-percent.
The American Lung Association is also advocating for implementation of the rule. During a recent conference call, association Senior Vice President Paul Billings noted that nine health and medical groups submitted comments in support of the new rule, along with major environmental and consumer advocates, and state and local pollution control officials. Billings calculates that over 275-thousand comments in support were filed, from a diversity of interests including organized labor and major auto makers.
Mayor Michael Bissonette of Chicopee, Massachusetts joined the Lung Association in it’s call for action on the Tier 3 rule, saying the standards will make existing cars cleaner and will push automakers to develop cleaner vehicles and will help communities achieve national air quality standards.
Mayor Bissonette is Vice Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Standing Committee on the Environment and explained that a resolution was adopted by the entire body of the conference in support of implementing the new standards.
American Academy of pediatrics Council on Environmental Health Chair Dr. Jerome Paulson is a professor of pediatrics and environmental and occupational health at George Washington University. He is also director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, one of 10 such specialty units in the country. Paulson says there is extensive data proving that ozone, particulate matter, and other pollutants targeted in the new rule exacerbate health problems.
Auto tailpipes emit many of the pollutants that harm human health, including carcinogens. Carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are also raw ingredients in the formation of ozone and particulate matter.