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Proposed Truck Clean-Up Rule Will Save Billions in Health-Related Costs for Truckers and Other Californians
Date:12/5/2008

Rule Makes Smart Economic Sense, Will Stimulate Economy, Save Lives

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 5, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Schwarzenegger Administration's proposed truck clean-up rule, which the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will vote on next Friday, will provide a much-needed boost to the economy and cut billions of dollars in health care-related costs each year for truckers and other Californians.

"The death and disease toll from diesel truck pollution represents an enormous burden of human suffering," said Dr. John Balbus, chief health scientist for Environmental Defense Fund and a member of EPA's Science Advisory Board and Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. "CARB's proposed rule will clean up the most polluting trucks and save lives and money in the process."

One of the most common causes for families to hit hard times is their inability to deal with chronic illness and high medical costs. A leading contributor to chronic heart and lung disease in California is highly polluted air, and toxic diesel pollution is a core component of that health-threatening pollution.

In California alone this year, diesel truck pollution was responsible for about 4,500 deaths, 1,100 hospital admissions, worsening of respiratory symptoms in more than 76,000 people and 450,000 lost workdays, according to CARB. Truck and other air pollution results in about $28 billion in health-related costs in the San Joaquin Valley and Los Angeles region combined each year, according to a recent economic study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Environmental Studies at California State University, Fullerton, and Sonoma Technology, Inc. Complying with the truck rule over its 15-year life will cost less than $6 billion spread over a period of 15 years, according to CARB.

"Uncontrolled diesel trucks cause too much illness and too much unaffordable cost," Balbus concluded. "The Schwarzenegger Administration is right to say enough is enough. We applaud the Administration for its strong stand in favor of reducing air pollution and protecting public health."

About Environmental Defense Fund

A leading national nonprofit organization, Environmental Defense Fund represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit www.edf.org.

    CONTACT:
    Lori Sinsley
    (415) 308-6970 (cell)
    lsinsley@edf.org

    John Balbus, M.D.
    (301) 908-8186
    jbalbus@edf.org

    Camille Kustin
    (916) 752-2834 (cell)
    ckustin@edf.org


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SOURCE Environmental Defense Fund
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