By: Karin Stein, Iowa 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
Good afternoon, I am Karin Stein, Iowa organizer for Moms Clean Air Force. You have probably heard other colleagues of mine say that we are an organization of nearly 1.5 million moms and dads fighting to protect children and vulnerable communities from the effects of air pollution and the climate crisis. I would like to present this testimony in both Spanish and English to make an important point.
First, allow me to say that I am very grateful for the opportunity to testify today. I enthusiastically support the proposal to reinstate state authority to set strong emission standards.
Allow me to switch to Spanish before concluding in English.
Es trágico que las personas que muchas veces se ven más afectadas por la contaminación de aire a causa de niveles de emisiones vehiculares inaceptables, sean las que menos entiendan cuál es la causa de sus enfermedades crónicas y malestares, y que menos sepan que hay maneras de impedirlo. Las discusiones en torno a las enfermedades causadas por contaminación de aire, y en torno a los beneficios que sus hijos y otros seres vulnerables pueden obtener a través de salvaguardias importantes, muchas veces son inaccesibles para aquellos que más necesitan tener la información—debido a barreras de idioma, o por falta de tiempo libre para enterarse de muchas cosas que les afectan.
I will switch back to English now. I would love to know how many of you on the panel understood every word I said, if there is a way to let me know. Perhaps all of you did, but I venture to guess that is not the case. And if you didn’t understand at all what I said, what did that feel like?
What I said, literally, was this: It is tragic that those who least understand what is causing their chronic diseases and discomforts and how to prevent this are those who are most affected by air pollution caused by unacceptable vehicle emissions standards. Discussions about diseases caused by air pollution, and about the benefits that children and vulnerable individuals can derive from proper safeguards, are often not accessible to those who most need the information—because of language barriers, or because of a lack of free time to learn about many things that affect them.
With my bilingual words, I wish to point out that decisions made at the regulatory level most affect those whose voices are least heard and who lack access to crucial information. Lack of proper regulations often break entire families. Safeguarding environmental justice is one of the best ways to restore energy physical and mental health to this country, save lives, and save money.
Please reinstate state authority to set stronger clean car standards, and please also raise standards at a federal level.
Thank you again. Gracias.