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Technology Today - Nevada Another Step Closer to Becoming a Clean Car State

Technology Today

Today, Nevada's State Environmental Commission unanimously approved new state “clean car standards” that would slash pollution from transportation, marking the latest step in the state’s process to establish regulations that have been adopted by over a dozen other states and the District of Columbia. The standards will require new cars sold in the state to emit less climate-disrupting pollution and also increase the availability and sales of zero-emission cars. Next, the standards will move to the Legislative Commission for approval.

Cars and trucks on Nevada roads are the largest source of climate-disrupting pollution in the state and a significant source of toxic air pollution, disproportionately impacting low-income communities and communities of color who live closest to highways due to decades of redlining.

The 2021 State of the Air report found that Nevada’s air quality rankings are among the unhealthiest for the most harmful and widespread types of air pollution: particle pollution and ozone. The Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas are listed on the top 25 cities most polluted by short-term particulate matter . People exposed to particle pollution are at greater risk of going to the hospital or emergency room more often, missing school or work, and being unable to go outside, especially for those with pre-existing heart or lung disease, the elderly, and children.

Additionally, Nevada is on the front lines of the climate crisis with two of the fastest warming cities, Las Vegas and Reno, in the nation. Each year, extreme heat events — a series of unusually hot days — happen more frequently and for longer in Nevada. Heat is the single deadliest climate-related disaster in our nation, and these heat waves are a direct threat to the safety and security of Nevadans.

In response to the State Environmental Commission’s approval of Clean Cars Nevada, Jasmine Vazin, conservation organizer with the Sierra Club’s Toiyabe Chapter, released the following statement - 

“The impacts of climate change are happening here now, and Nevada adopting strong clean car standards will be instrumental in helping the state meet its climate goals and address its worst polluting sector.”

“As an organizer working on addressing transportation pollution in Nevada, I have seen the impacts of climate change on the ground. I work with parents whose children are suffering from severe asthma made worse by our current air quality crisis, public transit riders who have to stand at unshaded bus stops in 115-degree heat to get to work or buy groceries, and families who have lived through record-breaking heat waves in Las Vegas.

“Nevada becoming a clean car state is a vital opportunity for climate action and clean air. The Sierra Club urges the Legislative Commission to move quickly on approving this live-saving policy.”

Background: The Clean Cars Nevada coalition, made up of a diverse group of business leaders, environmental, science and public health advocates, labor representatives, community organizations, local governments, consumer groups, and others, has been engaging in public workshops and hearings for months, building support for the popular program. Environmental groups and automakers voiced wide support for the standards at the latest workshop in July. 

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