Consortium Statement on EPA’s Clean Cars Standards

Blog > Consortium Statements > Consortium Statement on EPA’s Clean Cars Standards

March 20, 2024

On March 20, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the light- and medium-duty vehicle standard, which curbs emissions from cars and mid-size vehicles. In response to the new limits, Dr. Lisa Patel, a pediatrician and executive director for the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, issued the following statement:

“Today, the Environmental Agency took a critical step to protect the health of Americans and move us closer to a clean energy future. The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health celebrates this rule and its associated reduction in climate and health-harming pollutants.

Health professionals see the harmful effects of air pollution on patients. Particulate matter pollution from gas-powered vehicles can lead to the formation and exacerbation of asthma, cardiovascular harms, and premature death, and it is a risk for both preterm birth and low birth weight infants. Children are particularly vulnerable to particulate matter pollution and are at higher risk for asthma and neurocognitive harm. Mitigating emissions from light- and medium-duty vehicles and transitioning towards cleaner modes of transportation will play a pivotal role in safeguarding community health and ensuring improved air quality for all communities.

The EPA’s decision today is a crucial measure to protect patients across the country, and we believe it is an important step towards a clean energy future. But there is still more to do. We now look forward to seeing the EPA finalize the emissions standards for trucks to protect communities living near major trucking routes, ports, or bus depots. Pollutants from trucks include nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, and both are associated with respiratory issues and cardiovascular diseases. Communities of color and low-income communities are disproportionately exposed to these harmful pollutants due to urban segregation and historical redlining.

We also urge the Biden Administration to finalize the rule on carbon pollution from power plants and toxic emissions from coal-fired plants. Together, these rules will ensure a safer and healthier climate for all.”