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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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April 23, 2024

Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul, alongside 23 attorneys general, filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to defend the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule for light- and medium-duty vehicle emissions standards for model years 2027-2032. The final rule sets stricter tailpipe emissions standards for light- and medium-duty vehicles for harmful air pollutants, including greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Currently, the EPA rule is being challenged by 25 states that are seeking to curb the agency’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

“I urge the court to uphold the EPA’s final rule on vehicle emissions standards that will reduce the release of greenhouse gases into our environment,” Raoul said. “Greenhouse gas emissions harm human health and are the main contributor to climate change. I will continue to defend environmental standards that reduce air pollution and protect human health.”

In their motion, Raoul and the coalition highlight that transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country, with passenger cars accounting for more than half of those transportation emissions. Motor vehicle emissions also contribute to ozone, particulate matter and air toxics, all of which are linked to premature death, respiratory illness, cardiovascular problems and cancer, among other serious health impacts.

Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires the EPA to set emission standards for air pollutants from new motor vehicles or new motor vehicle engines that cause or contribute to air pollution and endanger public health or welfare. The final rule will result in a 50% reduction in light-duty vehicle (i.e. passenger cars) greenhouse gas emissions and a 44% reduction in medium-duty vehicle (i.e. large pickup trucks and vans, including delivery vans) greenhouse gas emissions compared to model year 2026 levels. The emissions standards in the final rule will also cut nitrogen oxides and non-methane organic gases by half and particulate matter by over 95%.

Joining Raoul in filing the motion are the attorneys general of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. In addition, the cities of Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and New York and Denver County (Colorado) also joined in filing the motion.