Statement on the EPA’s Decision to Revoke California’s Authority to Limit Auto Emissions

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Proposed Clean Air Act revision would harm human health

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to announce it would formally revoke California’s authority to set stricter auto emissions rules than federal standards. The following statement can be attributed to Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of The Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health.

“This administration’s decision to weaken policies that improve the air quality harms our health by increasing the pollution we breathe today and worsening climate change, which is a public health crisis. Doctors are speaking out because reducing auto emissions is a key solution for improving our health today and in the long-term. 

“Health professionals are seeing the harms of air pollution in exam rooms, hospitals and in school nurses’ offices. Air pollution harms brain development before birth, leads to premature births and makes heart and lung disease worse. And the long-term contributions of auto emissions to climate change will make hurricanes, droughts, floods and wildfires more intense—not to mention harming our mental health and increasing the spread of insect-borne diseases, like Lyme disease and West Nile virus. We need less pollution, disease, and climate change, not more.

“The role of the Environmental Protection Agency is to ensure that people living in the United States can breathe easier, but the string of decisions we’ve seen recently instead threaten the health of our people and our planet.”

For additional information on the health harms from climate change, you can see the Consortium’s report, Medical Alert! Climate Change is Harming Our Health at


About The Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health
Members of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health, comprising 25 members, include: Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (AIHM); American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI); American Academy of Dermatology (AAD); American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP); American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP); American Association of Community Psychiatrists (AACP); American College of Emergency Physicians, CA; American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM); American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG); American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM); American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI); American College of Physicians (ACP); American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM); American Geriatrics Society (AGS); American Medical Association (AMA); American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA); American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA); American Psychiatric Association (APA); American Telemedicine Association (ATA); Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP); Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA); National Medical Association (NMA); Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM); Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO); and The Endocrine Society.