CHICAGO – Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new efforts to boost electric vehicle sales and reduce pollution. Unfortunately, the emission standards for big trucks will still leave Illinois residents at risk from harmful air pollution. In response, the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) released the following statement:
“The newly proposed federal vehicle standards are a step in the right direction but Illinois residents remain unprotected from toxic soot, smog, and catastrophic climate events being driven by emissions from big trucks. We encourage Governor Pritzker to join other leading states in adopting the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) and Heavy Duty Omnibus NOx (HDO) state rules to ensure Illinoisans are protected against any potential weakening or future rollbacks of the federal rule. Joining this group of leading clean car and truck states would complement Illinois’ efforts to attract good jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing. As we did with the passing of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, Illinois can once again be a national leader and develop the clean transportation industry needed to secure a healthy and equitable future for our state.”
Seven states have already adopted the ACT rule that will dramatically increase zero-emission electric truck numbers – CA, NY, NJ, WA, MA, OR, and VT. EPA approved states’ ability to enforce the ACT rule last week. The ACT rule requires increasingly protective medium and heavy-duty vehicle emission standards through 2035, cutting significantly more harmful pollution damaging people’s health than just proposed federal standards, which only apply through 2032.
In 2023 alone, diesel exhaust will lead to more than 5,000 asthma attacks, nearly 200 heart attacks, and 416 premature deaths in Illinois.
In December, more than 80 groups and 130 health professionals urged Governor Pritzker to act with haste to direct the state to adopt the strongest possible health protections from harmful diesel exhaust by implementing the ACT and HDO rules to ensure zero-emission electric trucks are built, sold, and driven in Illinois as quickly as possible.
The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition (ICJC) is made up of hundreds of environmental advocacy organizations, businesses, community leaders, consumer advocates, environmental justice groups, and faith-based and student organizations working together to improve public health and the environment, protect consumers, and create equitable, clean jobs across the state. After more than three years of community organizing and policy leadership, in 2021, ICJC was instrumental in helping pass the nation-leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA).