National Clean Air for the Long Haul Coalition Calls Out the Environmental Protection Agency for Prioritizing Industry Interests with Lax NOx Emissions Standards

Despite Advocacy from Environmental Justice Groups, EPA Fails to Finalize a Tougher Heavy-Vehicle Emissions Rule to Safeguard Overburdened Communities


December 20, 2022
Contact: Gibson Martucci,


WASHINGTON — This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its final rule to reduce emissions of smog- and soot-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy-duty gasoline and diesel engines. The agency failed to approve what could have been the strongest and most protective heavy-duty nitrogen oxides (NOx) standard ever put in place. Ultimately, the EPA prioritized industry over safeguarding overburdened and under-represented communities and putting the U.S. on a path toward a zero-emissions future.

According to the EPA, heavy-duty vehicles are the highest source of mobile NOx emissions at 23 percent. Minimizing pollution to safeguard public health requires the EPA to finalize the strongest standards for the heavy-duty truck sector, especially for communities of color across the nation located near diesel truck intensive facilities and infrastructure.

“The Biden Administration has failed to live up to its promise of environmental justice if it allows industry to be the driver of health in environmental justice communities,” said Sharon Lewis, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition for Economic and Environmental Justice. “Strict emission reduction standards are critical to mitigating conditions that contribute to poor air quality, adverse health conditions, and climate change.”

In March, the EPA published a proposed rule to set new, more stringent standards to reduce pollution from heavy-duty vehicles and engines starting model year 2027.

“Rigorous mandatory emission reduction standards are critical to decreasing our exposure to not just nitrogen oxides, but also carbon, and volatile organic compounds—which contribute to climate change, poor air quality, and adverse health effects in our communities,” said Anastasia Gordon, spokesperson for the National Clean Air for the Long Haul Coalition. “Air pollution is a pressing issue and truck pollution from highways is a major culprit. In focus groups conducted in September 2022, the National Coalition for the Long Haul found truck pollution disproportionately affects lower income residents and people of color. Our research provides insights into the lived realities, concerns and preferences of people of color, and how crucial it is for EPA to finalize the strongest standards to minimize heavy-duty truck pollution.”

Clean Air for the Long Haul urges the EPA to develop the strongest emission standards in 2023 to reduce air pollution impacting public health, particularly in overburdened and vulnerable communities. Contact your elected officials and ask them to urge the EPA to continue to engage with affected communities and environmental justice advocates, to support communities in breathing easier.

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Clean Air for the Long Haul, a nationwide coalition of environmental justice groups, coordinates federal rulemaking campaigns, centering overburdened communities, to reduce air pollution from power plants, cars, and trucks. The coalition seeks to catalyze the environmental justice movement through federal emissions reductions targeting United States power and transportation sectors. Coalition member organizations include: Alternatives for Community and Environment, Clear Air Now, Coalition of Community Organizations, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, Duwamish River Community Coalition, Green Door Initiative, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, South Bronx Unite, Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, West End Revitalization Association, and Wisconsin Green Muslims.

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