The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently presented new, stricter measures intended to address air pollution problems. With more stringent standards for emissions, authorities hope to reduce exposure to toxic emissions, particularly among workers who constantly work around harmful gases, including EtO or Ethylene Oxide. EtO is essential for sterilising specific spices and medical devices. Once approved and implemented, the EPA estimates an annual reduction of 80%.
This proposal is right in line with the Biden administration’s programs that focus on public health protection and environmental justice, especially for those who are regularly exposed to toxic elements.
Michael S. Regan, EPA Administrator, said that the agency is committed to using the best science in the decisions they make; science that allows them to protect public safety and health. Whatever tools are available, the EPA always tries to find ways to use them to ensure that communities, institutions, and workers are safe from toxic emissions.
EtO emissions cause various health impacts, the most common of which is cancer. Reducing EtO emissions is just one part of the solution, though, as other forms of emissions are just as dangerous. Diesel vehicle emissions, such as nitrogen oxide, have been in the spotlight for years because of their life-altering effects not only on the environment but on a person’s health as well.
Tailpipe emissions are gases or chemicals that come from vehicles. They are a product of petroleum-based fuels and threaten the safety of the environment and public health. Diesel vehicles are the primary sources of tailpipe emissions. The most common tailpipe emissions are nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter or PM10, carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide or SO2, O3 or Ozone, and Hydrocarbons (HC).
As such, the EPA also finalised new regulations for vehicle emissions, including tailpipe emissions. The regulations are intended for vehicles that will be manufactured beginning in 2027.
In the past, the EPA based their improvements to their regulations on their belief that there will always be innovative technologies that will help make their task easier; i.e., reduced emissions from diesel-powered vehicles. Last month, the environmental agency’s latest proposal emphasised the availability of technologies aimed at achieving near-zero and zero tailpipe emissions, as well as how this can be achieved in the period allotted for the campaign (six years). This led the agency to set new emissions standards, one that’s significantly lower than previous proposals.
This also prompted the EPA to do everything that it can to encourage carmakers to manufacture electric vehicles more than petrol and diesel. The agency estimates savings of at least £9,596 per average consumer (of light-duty vehicles) if the new standards are implemented and fuel-efficient technologies are fast-tracked.
Along with the US government, the environmental agency believes that the improvements will prompt carmakers to improve their vehicles, particularly in terms of fuel efficiency. The Biden-Harris administration is also hoping that carmakers will take the new regulations seriously and start investing in emissions-friendly technologies and vehicles. The regulations will mostly affect cars and trucks that were made from the years 2027 to 2032.
Diesel emissions scandal
Setting strict emission standards is necessary if the US is determined to achieve net-zero emissions by the year 2050. Greenhouse gases and tailpipe emissions are among the most common contributors to air pollution. CO2 and NOx emissions, most especially, are common nowadays, especially after Dieselgate, also known as the diesel emission scandal, first erupted.
It was in the month of September 2015 when the Volkswagen Group was accused of fitting their Audi and VW diesel cars with illegal defeat devices. The software uses technology that automatically reduces emissions levels when a vehicle is being evaluated. When the vehicle is taken out and driven in real-life driving conditions, it releases massive amounts of NOx. So any car with a defeat device is a heavy pollutant.
Authorities believed that Volkswagen lied to their customers and mis-sold substandard vehicles as high-performing and emissions-compliant ones. Volkswagen did not only have to recall the thousands of affected Audi and VW diesel vehicles but they also had to pay a fine. The payoffs would continue over the years and at present, they’ve spent billions on emission claims.
After Volkswagen, other carmakers have also been implicated in the scandal, including world-class brands Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and BMW.
Environmental campaigners and government authorities encourage affected drivers to file a diesel claim against their carmakers for three reasons:
- They were lied to and misled
- Their vehicles’ performance has been compromised
- They were exposed to nitrogen oxide emissions
NOx is dangerous because it is not only responsible for forming acid rain and smog, but it can also produce ground-level ozone. Its health impacts can have a lifelong effect on you as well. The following conditions can develop after regular exposure to NOx:
- Pulmonary oedema
- Cardiovascular disease
- Premature death
NOx emissions have also been linked to depression and anxiety (and other mental health issues), as well as dementia due to weakened cognitive health.
Should my diesel claim start now?
Only particular models of specific cars are affected by defeat devices. You can find out if you are qualified to receive compensation by visiting Emissions.co.uk. They’ll give you all the information you need so you can start your diesel claim right away, with the help of an emissions expert.