By: Julie Kimmel, Project Manager, Member Cultivation, 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
My name is Julie Kimmel. I’m a project manager for Moms Clean Air Force, a volunteer with local chapters of 350.org and Mothers Out Front, and a parent of a sensitive and energetic six-year-old daughter. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
I live with my daughter and husband in Reston, Virginia, and I grew up here in Northern Virginia. For as long as I can remember, we’ve had issues with traffic congestion. Even with mass transit expansion into the deep suburbs, traffic remains a big issue here, and it’s certainly our largest source of air pollution.
We are lucky in Reston to have a robust network of walking paths that can take us from our homes to parks to pools to shopping centers. But many of these paths parallel heavily trafficked roads. And breathing in car exhaust is not just gross; it’s dangerous. I have adult runner friends with asthma who plan routes to avoid car fumes. I have friends with children who have been hospitalized for severe asthma attacks that followed time spent playing outdoors, in the heat, breathing in vehicle pollution.
I support this administration’s proposal to reinstate states’ authority to set stronger clean car standards. This is the right move for our health, for our children’s health. It’s also the right move for reducing climate pollution.
Earlier this year, Virginia governor Ralph Northam signed into law a bill establishing an advanced clean cars program for the state. The new law establishes a low- and zero-emission vehicle program for new cars and light trucks and also mandates that Virginia adopt California’s stringent fuel-efficiency standards. Virginia will be the first Southeastern state to adopt California’s standards. But of course, we can only implement them if EPA reinstates states’ authority to do so under the Clean Air Act.
The transportation sector accounts for 48% of Virginia’s carbon pollution, and 34% of our carbon pollution is from the personal use vehicles targeted by our new advanced clean car program. This program is absolutely critical for reducing climate pollution in our state and cleaning up the air we all breathe.
I’ll conclude today by saying thank you for revisiting this important regulation. It is essential that states have the authority to set standards that will both drive down pollution and increase electric vehicle innovation. These bold state standards can go a long way to bolster national efforts to clean up and electrify the transportation sector.
Thank you for your time.