By: Hazel Chandler, Arizona State Coordinator, Moms Clean Air Force
Date: June 28, 2022
About: Waiver Requests for California's Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT), Zero Emission Airport Shuttle, and Zero-Emission Power Train Certification Regulations; Omnibus Low NOx Regulation; and HD Emission Warranty Regulation, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2022-0331
To: Environmental Protection Agency
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. My name is Hazel Chandler, and I am a field organizer with Moms Clean Air Force in Arizona. I am a mother, a grandmother, and recently a great grandmother who has witnessed firsthand the impacts of air quality issues on my health and the health of the children in our state. While I live in a neighboring state, the California regulations have a significant impact on Arizona. Many of the trucks on our roads are licensed in California. Ozone pollution does not stop at the state line.
I thank this administration for acting swiftly on clean trucks but urge EPA to approve California’s waiver request in full, allowing the state to create the strongest possible limits on heavy duty vehicle pollution and rules to accelerate the transition to zero emissions vehicles. We need to clean the air as soon as possible, and California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to set more stringent emissions standards are crucial to cleaning the air throughout all section 177 states. Vehicle manufacturers have the technology to meet the goals of California’s rules, and many recent analyses have shown that fully zero-emission trucks will be cheaper to purchase and operate than diesel-trucks within the timeframe of these standards.
The climate crisis is harming our families and our communities today and medium and heavy-duty vehicles are a major contributor to this pollution. In fact, despite making up only 10% of the total number of vehicles on the road, medium- and heavy-duty trucks contribute a quarter of the total climate pollution from the transportation sector.
Trucks are also major sources of other deadly air pollution. Medium and heavy-duty trucks account for more than 60% percent of the deadly particle pollution that comes from vehicles. Particle pollution cuts short tens of thousands of US lives per year and contributes to the heavy burden of asthma on our nation’s children. Moreover, this type of pollution is inequitably distributed and disproportionately harms Blacks and Latinos compared to whites. Low-income communities and communities of color are more likely to live in “diesel death zones” where pollution from trucks put them at greater risk of lung disease, asthma, and cancer.
The residents of Arizona, especially those living in Maricopa County, have been plagued with the health impacts of both the climate crisis and air pollution. The American Lung Association has consistently graded the Maricopa County and Pinal County areas with failing grades on air quality. The Phoenix area once again received an F on the American Lung Association State of the Air Report that was released in April. Out of over 220 metropolitan areas, the Phoenix area ranked 5th worst for high ozone days, 11th worst for 24-hour participle pollution, and 8th worst for annual particle pollution. The air we breathe is harming all of us, but especially our children and elderly.
Air pollution is harming my health and the health of people that I love. States have a responsibility to protect their citizens. Clean truck standards are a major tool used to fight back against dangerous air pollution and rising diesel prices that increase the cost of goods, contribute to inflation, and wreak havoc on family and business’ budgets.
Please approve California’s waiver request without delay.