U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein (both D-Calif.) released the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized its updated national clean air standards to cut smog- and soot-forming emissions from heavy-duty trucks beginning with model year 2027.
“Clean air is a cornerstone of public health and environmental justice, but it has been over 20 years since EPA last updated its emission standards for heavy-duty trucks to reduce nitrogen oxides emissions. That is far too long, which is why we spearheaded efforts in Congress calling on EPA to follow California’s lead by setting ambitious emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles while rapidly transitioning to zero-emission vehicles.
“Though these revised standards are not as stringent as California’s rules, we are glad to see this final agency action that will result in fewer illnesses and fewer hospital admissions and ultimately save lives. The Inflation Reduction Act provided historic funding to reduce emissions from the heavy-duty sector, so we know that EPA can, and must, aim higher. We will keep pressing EPA for strong ‘Phase 3’ greenhouse gas standards for the heavy-duty sector that build upon today’s final rule so that we can guarantee cleaner air for our communities.
“Lastly, we again call on EPA to approve California’s waiver requests for our life-saving heavy-duty regulations and look forward to continuing our work with the Biden administration to ensure our waivers are approved as soon as possible.”
The final standards will reduce deadly smog and soot from new heavy-duty trucks starting with Model Year 2027. EPA estimates that by 2045, the rule will result in the following annual public health benefits:
- Up to 2,900 fewer premature deaths
- 6,700 fewer hospital admissions and emergency department visits
- 18,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma
- 3.1 million fewer cases of asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis symptoms
- 78,000 fewer lost days of work
- 1.1 million fewer lost school days for children
- $29 billion in annual net benefits
In a recent letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Senators Padilla and Feinstein urged EPA to expeditiously grant the unconditional approval of California’s waiver requests. They have continuously advocated to strengthen vehicle emissions standards in both the light-duty and heavy-duty sectors, including successfully pushing the Biden administration to set national clean car standards modeled on the “California Framework Agreement” and to revise the NOx emission standards for on-highway heavy-duty trucks