Press Release | October 25, 2022
Establishment of North Carolina’s Advanced Clean Truck Program Reduces Pollution
CHAPE HILL, N.C. — The Southern Environmental Law Center welcomed today’s announcement by Governor Cooper that it will promote a wide range of initiatives to reduce pollution from medium and heavy duty trucks in an exciting move for North Carolinians. Transportation is the leading cause of climate change pollution in our state. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles make up only 6.5% of the vehicles on North Carolina’s roads, but account for almost 34.5% of transportation heat trap gas emissions, 71.2% of nitrogen oxide pollution, and 54.57% of direct particulate matter. %. All of these are associated with serious health hazards. Trucking facilities often adjoin historically marginalized communities, endangering the health of those who cannot afford it.
“Governor Cooper’s executive order directing DEQ to create an advanced clean truck program for North Carolina is an important positive step in addressing climate change, community health, and environmental justice.” Center for Environmental Law . “Reducing pollution from medium and heavy duty trucks, which pollute the air we breathe in North Carolina and contribute to climate change, is essential to protecting the health of our people and our communities. , is pleased to be leading the nationwide transition to cleaner and more affordable vehicles, a move that will result in more vehicle choices in the market, less volatile fuel prices, and cleaner air. It will be cleaner, healthier, and bring benefits to the people of North Carolina more quickly.”
Over the past year, SELC has worked with a broad coalition of groups to urge Governor Cooper’s administration to push North Carolina’s advanced clean truck rule. Reducing the levels of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter in the air reduces mortality, infant mortality, non-fatal heart attacks, cardiovascular hospital emissions, and asthma emergency room visits. visits, and a lower incidence of lost working days. Diesel vehicle traffic is a major contributor to air pollution-related disparities in health outcomes, most often disproportionately affecting low-income communities and communities of color. Targeting pollution sources promotes environmental justice.
In addition to reducing harmful pollution in North Carolina, the Advanced Clean Track Program will generate billions of dollars in health and climate benefits for the state between 2020 and 2050, according to RTI International analysis. Cost savings of well over $100 billion. If you can save more on fuel costs, it can go even higher.