By: Gabriella Da Silva, Florida 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. My name is Gabriella Da Silva, and I am an organizer for Moms Clean Air Force. I am from Tampa, Florida, a city with a population of over 800,000 residents.
The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report released in April, found that our county, Hillsborough County, received a grade of “F” in ozone pollution indicating 12 air orange days. The worst grade in the state. That means more asthma attacks, more heart attacks, and more lung infections. This harsh fact is evidence that we need to do more to cut pollution. Underserved communities breathe significantly more air pollution and live in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards, all resulting in higher rates of asthma and other respiratory issues. Restoring state authority to limit pollution from dirty vehicles would help further environmental justice, because it will help address inequitable transportation-related health impacts. Each year we are seeing more and more extreme heat days here in Florida, and combined with ongoing pollution can be detrimental to our children’s health.
President Biden’s restoration of this Clean Air Act authority can give states the power to take control of their air quality standards and help increase EV innovation. We have seen EV initiatives across Florida. From the electrification of school buses and firetrucks in Miami to Orlando being named one of the top 10 EV-friendly cities in the country.
I support this administration’s proposal to reinstate state authority to set stronger clean car standards. I urge this administration to move forward on setting ambitious federal clean car standards as well. These standards have already gone through a rigorous technical review process, which found that auto manufacturers have the technology to meet the standards. I urge you to keep these standards as originally designed to ensure the greatest reductions in climate pollution. Your children, my future children, my nieces and nephews, and my goddaughter’s health depends on it.
Once again, I support the proposal to reinstate state authority to set strong standards. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.