Senator McKinney Champions Legislation for Clean Air

October 1, 2003

In an effort to improve public health, State Senator John McKinney, R-Fairfield, is backing legislation that will create stricter emission standards on automobiles, including cars sold out of state. According to Sen. McKinney, Connecticut has the opportunity to increase motor vehicle emission standards by adopting the same strict standards of New York and Massachusetts that are considerably lower than the current minimum federal standard.

“Air quality standards are a regional concern and not just limited to Connecticut,” said Sen. McKinney. “That is why we need to join our neighboring states by implementing these new zero emission vehicle standards to improve the public health and the and quality of life for the residents of Connecticut.”

Sen. McKinney, who recently joined representatives from the Connecticut Fund for the Environment (CFE) at a demonstration of low emission vehicles at the state capitol, said that by adopting the new standard a major source of air pollution can be reduced, which in turn will reduce the risks of asthma, heart disease, cancer and other respiratory problems.

According to the CFE, the program would require all new cars and light trucks sold in Connecticut to meet the new emission vehicle standards by 2007.

“Adopting the new standards would not create a burden on automobile manufacturers because these cars are already being sold in other states. But it would create an emission standards that goes beyond the requirements of the federal standards at a low cost to consumers,” said Sen. McKinney, who serves as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Environment Committee. “A lot of the air quality problems that Connecticut experiences come from other states. The northeast is highly populated region, thus we need to take every measure feasible to make our air quality healthier. Last year we created some of the strictest emissions standards for stationary fossil fuel plants in the entire nation. Adopting new standards on automobiles would be a continuation of the effort to make our air quality safer.”