We all deserve to breathe clean air. This is especially important for the 600,000 Washingtonians that live with asthma and the thousands more that suffer from upper respiratory illnesses and diseases caused by air pollution.
To help improve air quality, reduce climate pollution and better the health of Washingtonians, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has proposed a regional Clean Fuel Standard rule for King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties.
Your input is essential to help improve air quality in the greater Puget Sound region.
Leading public health organizations like the American Lung Association, Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians view a Clean Fuel Standard as one of the most important ways to improve public health and improve air quality. Cleaning up climate and air pollution will also save on healthcare costs.
A recent study found that California’s Clean Fuel Standard could contribute up to $8.3 billion in avoided public health costs by 2025 because of fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations, lower rates of lung cancer and heart attacks, and thousands of fewer lost workdays.
Prioritizing cleaner air will also begin to address long-standing inequities for those most impacted by climate change. Lower income communities and communities of color often live and work closer to major transportation corridors. For example, in King County, diesel particulate pollution contributes to a reduction in life expectancy by 13 years for those living in the Duwamish Valley compared to other parts of the County.
A Clean Fuel Standard is proven to improve health and is working in Oregon, California, and British Columbia. Implementing this rule can save up to $45 million in avoided deaths, and has the potential to save billions of dollars in other avoided public health costs.
We need to continue to do big, bold things to address climate and improve air quality in Washington. With our state on the pathway to a 100% clean grid, we can electrify most of our transportation sector and transition everything else to cleaner fuels. We will continue working hard to make sure that our state legislature follows through on their unfinished business and passes a statewide Clean Fuel Standard in the 2020 legislative session. But right now, it’s vital that residents engage on this bold policy through the regional process.
Also: mark your calendars for a big PSCAA hearing on Dec.19th at the Washington State Convention Center. Details coming!