Pages Navigation Menu

A program of the American Lung Association of the Southeast

Categories Navigation Menu

Media Release: M&O applauds the Obama Administration cleaner gasoline and vehicle standards

Media Release: M&O applauds the Obama Administration cleaner gasoline and vehicle standards

Date: March 3, 2014 (770) 544-0508

We Can All Breathe Easier Thanks to New Life-Saving Cleaner Gasoline and Vehicle Standards

ATLANTA (March 3, 2014) —Mother’s & Others for Clean Air (M&O), a program of the American Lung Association in Georgia, applauds the Obama Administration for issuing the final cleaner gasoline and vehicle standards today, also known as the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards. By significantly reducing tailpipe pollution from motor vehicles, as well as sulfur content in gasoline, the national standards will result in cleaner air and improved public health for all Georgians.

“Cars, light trucks, and SUVs are major sources of pollution in metro Atlanta that can harm the health of our most vulnerable family members and neighbors,” said Laura Turner Seydel, co-founder of Mothers & Others for Clean Air. “Particularly at risk are children and those who suffer from asthma, lung and heart disease, as well as anyone who lives, works and goes to school near major roadways, like I-285. We thank the Obama Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency for putting these critical public health safeguards in place to protect communities across the nation.”

Lower sulfur gasoline immediately cleans up every car on the road because its pollution control system will work more efficiently. Lower sulfur gasoline will reduce as much pollution from the current national vehicle fleet as taking 33 million cars off the road. Cities and metro areas, such as Macon-Warner Robins-Fort Valley which ranked 14th and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville, which was ranked as the 18th-most polluted in the nation for year-round particle pollution in the American Lung Association’s most recent State of the Air report, will highly benefit from this important clean air protection.

Once fully implemented, these clean air protections will save up to 2,000 lives and prevent 19,000 asthma attacks and nearly 300,000 missed days of work and school each year by 2030. As the Lung Association reported last year, independent economists estimate we could achieve these benefits for less than one cent per gallon of gasoline.

“This is good news for children’s health. As a pediatrician and consulting epidemiologist, I am concerned about children’s exposure to health-harming air pollutants including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds that form ozone and particle pollution,” said Anne Mellinger-Birdsong, M&O Leadership Board member. “If you and your children live in the Atlanta metro area or are stuck in traffic, you are exposed to dirty air that can trigger asthma attacks, inhibit a child’s developing lungs and cause heart attacks. By reducing these pollutants and making our air healthier, these standards will help our families live healthier, and especially families who have some members suffering from asthma, cardiovascular disease, and other lung diseases.”

These standards have received support from a wide range of voices, including automakers, consumer groups and the medical community. Most recently, nearly 500 doctors, nurses and other health professionals from across the country, including here in Georgia, signed on to a letter to President Obama urging him to approve these standards to protect public health. Additionally, M&O co-founders Stephanie Blank and Laura Turner Seydel sent a letter to the Administration pushing for finalization of the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emissions and Fuel Standards.

With the signing of the standards today, the cleaner gasoline and cleaner vehicles will be ready in 2017.