President Barack H. ObamaThe White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
The undersigned recreation and conservation organizations are very concerned about air pollution, particularly ozone and fine particles, respiratory irritants that are especially damaging to the lungs of children and those who work and recreate outside. We applaud this Administration for the great advancements in your first term towards cleaner and more efficient passenger vehicles which are a significant source of these pollutants. However, we urge you to expeditiously finalize the pending TIER III vehicle emission and gasoline standards which are essential to cleaner outdoor air in urban and downwind recreational areas.
Our organizations are comprised of members that prioritize getting outdoors as individuals and with our families. Considering the state of our nation’s health, outdoor recreation and preservation of healthy landscapes must play a key role in restoring the wellbeing of America’s future generations, a reality recognized by this Administration through efforts like America’s Great Outdoors. At odds with these worthy efforts are poor air quality days, high childhood asthma rates, and ecological degradation from air pollutants.
While many of our members seek refuge from urban smog in the mountains, expecting to enjoy the outdoors on a healthy hike, transported ozone can create unhealthy air even in these remote landscapes. By issuing strong TIER III standards, and particularly the low sulfur fuel measures, you will clean up our urban parks and our national parks, ensuring that the health benefits of getting outside to recreate, exercise, and connect with nature are not compromised by poor air quality. TIER III standards can result in air pollution reductions equivalent to taking 33 million cars off the road, yet only impact the cost of gasoline by about a penny a gallon. Further these standards are significant because it will help states achieve their health based air quality standard requirements under the lean Air Act because reducing sulfur in gasoline will result in significant, immediate reductions of smog-forming pollutants from the existing fleet of vehicles.
The economic benefits of cleaner air are clear. Our nation’s health and its ability to appreciate the outdoors are at stake. We implore you to carry out this pivotal opportunity to reduce ozone and particle pollution by issuing a strong TIER III rule as soon as possible and before December 31, 2013.
Appalachian Mountain ClubAdirondack Mountain Club
American Hiking Society
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Friends of AcadiaNational Parks Conservation Association
New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
Winter Wildlands Alliance