NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman submitted a letter on behalf of a multi-state coalition Tuesday to the Environmental Protection Agency to urge the quick adoption of a proposed air pollution reduction rule.
Schneiderman submitted the letter to the acting administration of the EPA, recommending the adoption of the Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards rule. The rule, which was proposed by the agency in March, would result in significant public health and economic benefits by setting new vehicle fuel and emission standards starting in 2017. The rule would also reduce motor vehicle emissions of soot pollution by 70 percent and smog-producing pollution by 80 percent.
The letter from the coalition urges the EPA to finalize the rule by the end of 2013.
"Emissions from cars and trucks result in air pollution that threatens the health of millions of New Yorkers each year," Schneiderman said. "Our coalition of states and cities are on the front-lines in the fight for the well being of all our citizens and particularly the most vulnerable among us, our children, our elderly and those already suffering from respiratory and heart diseases. We commend the EPA for proposing common-sense, cost-effective and forward-looking pollution standards for motor vehicles. They will help us win the fight against dirty air. Today, we are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure these standards are finalized without delay."
The letter said poor air quality threatens the health of more than 150 million Americans and the proposed standards could prevent as many as 23,000 cases of respiratory illness in children, 22,000 asthma attacks and 2,400 premature deaths annually.
Joining Schneiderman in the letter were attorneys general from Washington, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Delaware, Connecticut and the District of Columbia, along with the corporation counsels of New York City and Chicago.