Friday, June 17, 2011


Next Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 2 p.m. the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) – 1110 W. Washington St. – Phoenix -will be holding a public hearing to seek repeal of the Clean Cars Program.  With areas of our state not meeting air quality standards and other areas likely to cross that threshold soon, we need to be implementing, not repealing, every possible improvement to protect our air and our health.

The Clean Cars Program, which as you are likely aware, limits health damaging pollution from automobiles.  The Program is known to pave the way for the widespread introduction of technologies like hybrid-electric and fuel-cell vehicles, direct-injection engines, advanced transmissions, improved air conditioning systems, and other technologies with the potential to reduce pollution. 

Cleaner cars not only reduce air pollution and decrease adverse public health impacts such as asthma attacks, but they save consumers money at the pump, which is particularly important as gas prices continue to fluctuate. 

Recently, in the American Lung Association of Arizona’s State of the Air report, Gila, Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma Counties all received an “F” for ozone pollution.  Ozone is one of the most harmful byproducts of automobile emissions and puts people at risk for premature death, coughing, wheezing, asthma attacks, decreased lung function, respiratory infection, lung inflammation and worsened lung diseases. 

Clearly, Arizona needs to do everything we reasonably can to reduce automobile emissions.  Under ADEQ’s leadership, Arizona and 13 other states -- over a third of the U.S. market – adopted the Clean Cars Program which helped lead to national policy.  Now, Governor Brewer and ADEQ argue that federal policy is only incrementally weaker than the policy Arizona adopted and we should follow the federal government on this one. 

Even with other measures and federal policy in place, it is necessary to pursue the Clean Cars Program in Arizona to reduce health-damaging pollution in our State.  In fact, Arizona should be moving towards the next round of Clean Car Standards which will provide even more significant air quality and public health protections.

Arizona should implement, not repeal, the Clean Cars Program.
Information provided by:
Diane E. Brown, Executive Director
Arizona PIRG (Arizona Public Interest Research Group)

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