Today, The Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) submitted 67,755 Comments from Christians to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of the “Clean Trucks Standard." (EPA–HQ–OAR–2019–0055; FRL–7165–03– OAR) Their comments state:
As pro-life Christians, we want the air that we breathe to be safe for our children. However, soot (PM2.5) from burning fossil fuels cuts short the lives of 350 million Americans each year and contributes to at least 15,000 premature births of which 1/3 of those babies die. Heavy duty trucks, like tractor-trailers, emit soot and other pollutants that put God’s creation and our families - especially pregnant mothers and the unborn - in harm's way. Unborn children close to major roads are at higher risk of birth defects, and children attending school near these highways have higher rates of cancer and asthma.
That's why we are calling on the EPA to ensure stronger standards that will cut pollution from heavy-duty trucks by 2027 and move us to zero emission by 2035. Our kids deserve clean air and the right to an abundant life.
Transportation pollution is a major cause of air-pollution-related death and disease, and recently transportation became the top source of pollution contributing to climate change in the United States. Heavy-duty trucks, like tractor-trailers, are a leading source of lung-damaging air pollutants—including smog-forming NOx pollution and particle pollution (soot). In 2020, trucks emitted an estimated 561 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 38,000 metric tons of particulate matter (soot) (PM), filling the air we breathe with life-threatening air pollution. The largest single source of these pollutants is heavy duty trucks.
Almost 60% of NOx and PM2.5 exhaust emissions from the trucks and buses were in urban areas, where 45 million people Americans live, work, or attend school within 300 feet of a major road, airport, or railroad. Additionally, 45% of U.S. residents live in counties with unhealthy levels of smog or soot. Medical experts have labeled these areas diesel death zones, and link exposure to diesel exhaust to more than four dozen toxic air pollutants that cause birth defects, lung damage, and cancer.
“Our community, especially those living in urban and suburban communities, know the threats imposed by heavy-duty truck pollution. That’s why they stood up in impressive numbers to defend their children, grandchildren, and neighbors from this plague that can be remediated through our clean energy transformation,” stated the Rev. Mitch Hescox, EEN’s President & C.E.O.
Image Caption: Geographic locations of the over 67,000 pro-life Christians who support new clean truck standards. Unsurprisingly, these commentors live in areas of high truck pollution.