November 5, 2013
The Honorable Gina McCarthy
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
William Jefferson Clinton Building
Mail Code 1101A
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator McCarthy:
We applaud the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for proposing strong “Tier 3” clean vehicle and fuel standards, which will make our air cleaner to breathe and save lives. We are writing to strongly urge you to finalize these critical standards as soon as possible, in order to maximize the economic, public health and air quality benefits that these standards deliver.
Recent reports in the media have suggested EPA may not finalize Tier 3 standards by the end of 2013, a possibility made more real by the government shutdown. Failing to finalize these standards by the end of the year could unnecessarily expose Americans to health risks and health-related costs.
The health benefits associated with the Tier 3 proposal are well established. By reducing the sulfur content of gasoline and tailpipe pollution, the proposed standards would prevent up to 2,400 premature deaths, 3,200 hospital visits and 22,000 asthma attacks annually by 2030. Further, the standards would prevent 1.8 million lost school and workdays.
The proposed Tier 3 standards will dramatically reduce emissions of ozone-forming pollution, which exacts a substantial toll on our public health and our environment, including our national parks and other public lands. Compared to existing standards for new vehicles, the proposed standards would cut fleet-wide emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds by 80 percent. Further, Tier 3 standards would reduce per-vehicle particulate matter by 70 percent. These emissions reductions are critical for states to meet health-based air quality standards under the Clean Air Act.
In addition to significant health benefits, Tier 3 will also realize economic benefits. According to a study by Navigant Economics, Tier 3 will create over 24,000 new jobs over three years for pollution control equipment installation at the nation’s refineries. Another nearly 5,300 jobs will be created by the operation and maintenance of this new equipment.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 proposal will significantly reduce vehicle pollution and make our air cleaner to breathe. But these benefits are only achieved once the standard is finalized and implemented. EPA’s job is not yet done. The agency must finalize Tier 3 standards as soon as possible and prevent delays of the substantial economic, health and environmental benefits that will come from their implementation.
John Judge CEO, Appalachian Mountain Club
David Foster Executive Director, Blue Green Alliance
Kieran Suckling Executive Director, Center for Biological Diversity
Frank O’Donnell President, Clean Air Watch
Robert Wendelgass President, Clean Water Action
Kathleen Rogers President, Earth Day Network
Margie Alt Executive Director, Environment America
Fred Krupp President, Environmental Defense Fund
Howard Learner, President & Executive Director Environmental Law and Policy Center
Gene Karpinski President, League of Conservation Voters
Dominique Browning Senior Director, Moms Clean Air Force
Theresa Pierno Acting President, National Parks and Conservation Association
Frances Beinecke President, Natural Resources Defense Council
Dan Becker Director, Safe Climate Campaign
Michael Brune Executive Director, Sierra Club
Stephen A. Smith, DVM Executive Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Kathleen Rest Executive Director, Union of Concerned Scientists
Peggy M. Shepard Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice