CHICAGO, IL (April 29, 2013) – Tom Conway, Regional Program Manager at the BlueGreen Alliance, today testified before an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) panel in Chicago, Illinois in support of the agency’s proposed Tier 3 Standards — a set of rules to cut tailpipe emissions and clean up the fuel that we put in our light- and heavy-duty vehicles. EPA estimates the standards could prevent between 820 and 2,400 premature deaths annually and prevent 1.8 million lost school or work days.
“This investment in pollution reduction represents a significant down payment toward curbing our greenhouse gas emissions, improving efficiency and job creation,” said Conway. “As a resident of Northwest Indiana, with family throughout the Chicago-land area, I see the constant need to balance public health and environmental stewardship with sustainable economic growth. These standards are necessary for maintaining that balance.”
America’s working families deal firsthand with the impacts of dirty air in terms of missed work and school days, increased medical costs, and long-term health effects. Despite dramatic improvements in recent decades, ozone quality grades remain in the range of ‘C’ to ‘F’ for some areas, making it clear that there is room for improvement.
The implementation costs of the Tier 3 program will be offset by savings in health costs alone, in addition to improving quality of life for all Americans. Also, since pollution reduction is strongly tied to fuel efficiency, in addition to direct benefits to public health, these efforts will assist in the mitigation of greenhouse gases that are causing climate change.
“The BlueGreen Alliance commends the Obama administration, and specifically the EPA for outstanding leadership reducing air pollution from passenger vehicles and trucks,” said Conway. “The Tier 3 program enhances a comprehensive approach toward making our vehicles more energy efficient and less polluting.”
Previously, the EPA held a hearing on Tier 3 Standards in Philadelphia. The proposed standard would take effect starting in 2017.