/ Modified dec 13, 2023 4:40 p.m.

Local leaders advocate swift action on EPA’s greenhouse gas standards for vehicles

Driving change: Calls for accelerated emission standards gain momentum as communities look to embrace cleaner, safer transportation solutions

stock downtown traffic spotlight Traffic in downtown Tucson.
AZPM Staff

Today, local leaders and public health officials have called upon the Biden Administration and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to expedite the passage of new federal greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks.

In April, the EPA announced new standards to mitigate harmful air pollutant emissions from light and medium-duty vehicles starting with the model year 2027, and extending through 2032.

The proposed standards are performance-based, providing automakers with the flexibility to choose the most appropriate set of emissions control technologies for their respective vehicle fleets.

Adelita Grijalva, Pima County Supervisor emphasized the importance of ensuring safe and clean transportation methods for the city of Tucson, whose infrastructure is dependent on cars and trucks.

“I urge its officials to finalize the proposed rule this winter and in doing so, the EPA will be taking a bold step of laying out the strong federal standards that counties and cities like Pima County and Tucson can rely upon and to help guide our policies to best protect our community and our environment,” Grijalva said.

The EPA’s proposal aims to significantly reduce vehicle emissions in proximity to major roadways and communities, particularly benefiting areas where people of color and low-income families are disproportionately exposed to air pollution.

Rosanna Gabaldón, Arizona State Senator who represents District 21, highlighted the positive impact of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), signed into effect two years ago, on Arizona’s clean energy infrastructure which allocated $76 million to electric vehicle charging networks and federal grants supporting electric school buses.

“The draft rules from the EPA present a blueprint for a future where 67% of all new cars and light-duty vehicles will be electric by 2032. This change isn’t about regulations, it’s about embracing a shift towards zero-emission vehicles that protect our health, reduce carbon pollution, and create economic opportunities,” Gabaldón said.

While there is no current deadline for EPA's adoption of new standards, the panel urges the agency to adopt new regulations this winter.

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