Tougher Auto Emissions Limits Will Fight Climate Change, Dirty Air, and Nitrogen Pollution in the Bay

EPA released tighter tailpipe limits on greenhouse gases today that require automakers to by 2032 make the largest gross reduction of greenhouse gas emissions ever required in the United States by a single rule. 

The new standards cover passenger cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and some heavier commercial vehicles manufactured from model year 2027 to model year 2032. They also clamp down on tailpipe emissions of smog-forming ozone, soot, and nitrogen oxides (NOx). 

Roughly one-third of excess nitrogen in the Bay and its tributaries comes from the air, much it of in the form of NOx from vehicle exhaust and fossil fuel-fired power plants. When airborne NOx is deposited into waters, it fuels the growth of agal blooms that block sunlight and absorb oxygen that underwater grasses, crabs, oysters, fish and other marine species need to live.

Auto emissions can be especially damaging to local waterways and people living near busy roads because the pollution does not travel far from its source. Communities of color and low-income communities are more likely than affluent white neighborhoods to be located near busy roadways. Environmental justice communities also suffer disproportionately from heart and lung disease.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Federal Director Keisha Sedlacek issued the following statement:

“Cutting carbon and nitrogen emissions from vehicles is essential to a cleaner Bay, more resilient local waterways, and healthier communities across our region. We can already see how the damaging effects of climate change and dirty air are taking their toll.

“Sea-level rise and more frequent, intense storms threaten low-lying cities such as Annapolis, Md., and Hampton Roads, Va. Rising temperatures mean unpredictable growing seasons for Pennsylvania farmers. And vehicle exhaust deposits excess nitrogen into the Bay and its tributaries as it chokes under-resourced communities near congested highways in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

“The Chesapeake Bay Foundation welcomes EPA’s stronger tailpipe emission limits on greenhouse gases and other pollutants. They are an important tool in the fight against climate change impacts and unhealthy air that already plague too many of our region’s 19 million people.”

Kenny Fletcher 90x110

Kenny Fletcher

Director of Communications and Media Relations, CBF

[email protected]

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