By: Almeta E. Cooper, Georgia Field Organizer, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: June 2, 2021
About: Environmental Protection Agency Reconsideration of SAFE 1 Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0257
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you for the opportunity to testify after this long day. I am speaker #114. My name is Almeta Cooper, and I am a member of and Georgia field coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force. We are 26,645 strong in Georgia. You have heard from many of my colleagues today.
I live in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and have lived here for seven years. My professional background is in health care, and I have worked in health care organizations, health care systems, medical, and in national and state medical societies in many parts of the country. I am also active in community service organizations.
I support President Biden’s proposal to reinstate a state’s authority to set stronger clean car standards. I also urge the EPA to move forward to set ambitious federal clean car standards.
These standards have already been subject to a rigorous technical review process, which found that auto manufacturers have the technology and resources to meet the standards. I urge you to keep these standards as originally drafted to permit the greatest reduction in pollution and to protect the health of our children and families.
I am testifying today because of my personal passion about health and the human connection between climate and health equity. Atlanta’s traffic conditions are notoriously terrible and the known correlation between high traffic volume and pollution is well established. Also, the American Lung Association State of the Air report gave Fulton County a failing grade. I support the ability of states to create standards to protect health and reduce harmful emissions.
Over 26 million people in the US suffer from asthma, including more than 6 million children. More children suffer with asthma than any other chronic disease. The standards limiting vehicle pollution that protect them should never have been rolled back—particularly when we have been battling a public health crisis that is especially harmful to those with respiratory illnesses and our most vulnerable populations.
In conclusion, I support the proposal to reinstate state authority to set strong clean car standards. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. I appreciate the EPA inviting public comment and permitting digital and remote testimony to allow for increased participation. I thank staff member Jessica Mroz for her help in facilitating this process.