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Lawmakers Push for Cleaner Cars

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A lawmaker hopes Illinois will become the first state in the Midwest to sign on for tougher vehicle emissions standards. Chicago Public Radio’s Lynette Kalsnes reports.

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At least 11 other states already have passed laws, modeled after California, saying they want cleaner cars.

State Rep. Karen May hopes to win approval for House Bill 3424, so Illinois can join them. May says she wants to cut down on greenhouse gases, and air pollution.

MAY: One of the leading causes of school absences for children is from asthma, and it’s triggered and exacerbated, it’s increased because of the soot and particulate matter.

None of those tougher emissions levels can go in effect, until California wins a waiver from the EPA. Then other states could piggypack on those standards.

May went to Washington to testify in favor of the waiver. She says she’s hoping if enough states join in, car makers will “get the message.”

But a trade group for car makers says the new regulations would be expensive, and create a patchwork of standards among the states.

I’m Lynette Kalsnes, Chicago Public Radio.

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