EPA proposes tougher truck emissions standards to tackle health concerns

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft rule that would take effect by 2027 and would impact large vehicles like tractor-trailer trucks and buses that emit toxic pollutants. Other environmental health stories point to asthma, extreme heat, contaminated water, and more.

Los Angeles Times: EPA takes action to reduce smog from trucks and other heavy vehicles

The Biden administration is proposing new emissions standards that would reduce smog-forming pollutants from tractor-trailers, buses and other heavy vehicles as part of a multi-year plan to improve air quality in across the country. The draft rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which would take effect from the 2027 model year, would reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides g from gasoline and diesel engines by up to 60% in 2045, has said the agency. It would also set updated greenhouse gas standards for certain categories of commercial vehicles, including school buses, transit buses, commercial delivery trucks and short-haul tractors – sub-sectors in which electrification is progressing faster, the EPA said. (Wigglesworth, Kaur, and Curwen, 3/7)

The Wall Street Journal: EPA aims to reduce toxic emissions from commercial trucks

EPA officials said the proposed rules are ambitious but achievable and would benefit the public by reducing asthma and other health problems. “These new standards will significantly reduce hazardous pollution by harnessing recent advances in vehicle technologies from across the trucking industry as it moves toward a zero-emission transportation future,” said the administrator of EPA, Michael Regan. (Ferek, 3/7)

In other asthma news –

USF Public Media: USF Physician’s Nationwide Study of Asthma Treatments for Black and Latino Patients First of Its Kind

In Florida, blacks are three times more likely to die of asthma than whites. And national data shows Latinos also suffer disproportionately from the chronic condition that causes shortness of breath, coughing and tightness in the lungs. They have more severe cases of asthma than whites and are hospitalized more often for this disease. In the first study of asthma treatments for black and Latino patients, researchers from the University of South Florida and across the country spent more than three years developing solutions to historic racial gaps. What they’ve produced is a unique treatment that, when combined with a patient’s usual asthma medication, dramatically improves outcomes for black and Latino patients. (Bruner, 3/7)

And more climate news —

Axios: Global warming could increase the risk of death from extreme temperatures

The risk of death from extreme temperatures could increase significantly in a warming scenario of more than 2°C, according to a study published Monday in the journal Environmental Research Letters. As Axios’ Andrew Freedman recently reported, peer-reviewed research indicates that the world is already on track for a warming of at least 3°C ​​(5.4°F) above global levels. pre-industrial – and lack of time to do something about it. The new study, led by researchers from University College of London and the University of Reading, looked specifically at the impact of rising temperatures in England during the hottest days of the year. (Reed, 3/7)

Fox News: NASA study: Each state has its own climate threshold for flu outbreaks

According to researchers, NASA satellite data has highlighted a critical relationship between low humidity and the flu epidemic in the United States. In a new study published in the journal GeoHealth, scientists from the University of Southern California and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena correlated measurements of water vapor in the lower atmosphere from atmospheric infrared sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite with influenza case estimates for each week from 2003 to 2015 in the 48 contiguous US states. (Musto, 3/5)

In Drinking Water News —

The Washington Post: Pentagon to shut down Pearl Harbor fuel storage facility that contaminated drinking water

The Pentagon announced on Monday that it was closing an underground World War II-era fuel storage facility that last year caused severe contamination of the drinking water used by thousands of military families stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. “After close consultation with senior civilian and military officials, I have decided to refuel and permanently close the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. in a press release. This will force the Pentagon to radically alter the way it conducts its operations in the Indo-Pacific region, where China’s growing influence has become a major strategic challenge for successive administrations. Even so, Austin added, “It’s the right thing to do.” (Demirjian and Horton, 3/7)

Detroit Free Press: Prescription drugs, caffeine and sweeteners found in Great Lakes water

Artificial sweeteners, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and non-stick compounds have been found in multiple water samples in the corridor between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, including the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair, according to a news report. study. Drugs detected in the water included nicotine, cocaine, antibiotics, the painkiller acetaminophen, the diabetes drug metformin, and even the contrast dye from CT scans, according to the program’s study. Healthy Urban Waters from Wayne State University and the University of Florida. They are found in very minute concentrations, down to parts per trillion. (Mathény, 3/7)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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