By: Brooke Petry, Pennsylvania State Coordinator, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: May 10, 2023
About: Environmental Protection Agency Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2022-0829
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Brooke Petry, and I am a State Coordinator for Moms Clean Air Force. I live with my family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On behalf of Moms Clean Air Force, I am calling on EPA to finalize the strongest possible clean car standards this year. Strong safeguards are crucial in protecting the health of our children and communities, and it is urgent that we act now.
As a person living with asthma, and as the mother of an asthmatic child, I know what it means to struggle to breathe on a poor air quality day, or to fear for my child’s health as they walk to and from school. My family does not own a car, and therefore, while we contribute less than most to climate warming and health harming pollution, we are up close and personal with air pollution every single day, as we walk through our city going about our daily lives. Clean car standards are not just about the people who drive vehicles, but about the air we all share and the climate cost of transportation.
Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, making up 27% of all emissions, and within the transportation sector, passenger cars and trucks are the largest contributor. Greenhouse gas pollution is a driver of climate change—a crisis that impacts every family, every community, and every person on this planet. We must act now if we hope to ensure a livable planet for future generations. In addition to the climate warming impacts of transportation sector pollution, we must consider the health impacts of breathing the pollution itself. Tailpipe exhaust from cars is a significant source of nitrogen oxides (NOx) which react in the atmosphere to form ground level ozone, also known as smog. Ground level ozone is harmful to breathe for all but can be particularly dangerous for children, the elderly, folks with asthma and other respiratory conditions, and other vulnerable groups. In fact, according to the American Lung Association, emerging research warns that traffic pollution may cause the onset of new asthma, cause cognitive problems, and harm prenatal development.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed clean cars standards are an important step forward in protecting families like mine, and families across the world from climate and air pollution. The vehicles covered by this rule will be on the road for decades to come. Parents around the country want to see a rapid transition to zero-emissions vehicles, and Moms Clean Air Force is calling on EPA to finalize the strongest possible clean cars standards this year.