By: Melody Reis, Senior Legislative Manager, 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
Hello. My name is Melody Reis. I am the Senior Legislative Manager for Moms Clean Air Force. Thank you for the opportunity to testify at this hearing.
Moms Clean Air Force is a nationwide network of over one million moms and dads who have come together to fight against air pollution and climate change. We believe that everyone has the right to breathe clean air.
The heavy-duty vehicles that California seeks to regulate are a primary source of toxic tailpipe emissions, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), ground-level ozone, and particulate matter. These pollutants affect the health of children and families, harming developing lungs, increasing the risk of bronchitis, asthma, respiratory infections, and even heart disease and cancer.
Communities most affected by these dangerous pollutants—neighborhoods located near ports and shipping hubs—have been referred to as “asthma alleys” and “diesel death zones” due to the serious health effects suffered by residents. Unsurprisingly, these communities have historically housed low-income families and people of color, making this a clear example of environmental injustice.
Moreover, though heavy-duty vehicles make up less than ten percent of all vehicles on the road, they are responsible for over 25 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions coming from the transportation sector. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, emissions from trucks are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gases, and significant growth in truck miles traveled is predicted over the coming decades.
Fortunately, we have readily-available technologies that would cut harmful emissions, reduce climate impacts, and improve health outcomes. Cleaner vehicles are here, and states are demanding them. This administration has praised California for its leadership in reducing pollution from cars and trucks, and has expressed its commitment to addressing both environmental justice and climate change. The time to act is now. With communities suffering from poor air quality, and with worsening climate outcomes—including drought, heat, and wildfires—we simply cannot delay. States must have the ability to enact strong emissions standards. I urge this administration to approve the waivers in full. Thank you again for the opportunity to testify.