WASHINGTON — A proposed air pollution waiver currently before Congress would harm U.S. air quality and the health and well-being of Americans, according to testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee at a hearing today in 10:00 AM ET.
The Recognizing the Motorsports Protection Act of 2021 (S.2736) would significantly increase air pollution by creating a dangerous exemption for aftermarket “defeat devices.” These devices effectively disable vehicle emissions controls, and many companies have marketed and sold more than a million of these devices for cars and trucks on America’s roads and highways. According to an EPA report, the defeat devices on 550,000 illegally counterfeited pickup trucks caused more than 570,000 tons of excess nitrogen oxide (“NOx”) emissions.
Generally, the Clean Air Act’s anti-counterfeiting provisions prohibit the manufacture, sale, and installation of “defeat devices” for vehicle emissions control systems. But the new measure would create an exception in the law that would essentially incentivize bad actors to market and sell them.
Transportation produces more than half of the smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions, nearly a third of the volatile organic compound air pollution, and more than one-fifth of the particulate matter air pollution in the United States. Together, these air pollutants worsen asthma, cause bronchitis, lung disease, heart attacks, strokes, and even premature death.
Next comes the testimony John Walkdirector of clean air for the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), who appeared before a Senate committee this morning urging it to reject the dangerous bill:
“[This exemption would] increase dangerous air pollution nationally to the point where it eclipses the harmful air pollution and health effects associated with the 2015 Volkswagen fraud scandal known as Dieselgate.
“The EPA data … show that instruments of defeat and inadequate vehicles are already rampant on America’s streets and highways, and the cause of one of the nation’s largest sources of uncontrolled or poorly controlled smog-causing air pollution.”
“S. 2736 would make it much easier to manufacture, sell, and install defeat devices on road vehicles and make it much more difficult – if not impossible – to enforce the Clean Air Act against illegal defeat practices by companies that pollute America’s skies and harm American health.
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