Pittsburgh Joins Legal Fight Against Trump Cuts to Emissions Standards

PITTSBURGH, PA (January 21, 2021) The City of Pittsburgh is continuing its legal fight against Trump Administration Environmental Protection Agency moves to roll back vehicle emissions standards. 

The City is joining the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Local Government Coalition and 14 other municipalities and counties in an amicus brief filed with the DC Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals seeking to block EPA rules that they argue will hurt efforts to fight air pollution. 

The brief references efforts by Pittsburgh to address pollution in its Climate Action Plan and criticizes the EPA for failing to perform proper environmental justice analysis, which would show disparate impacts of the rules upon minority and/or low-income populations.   

“Now is not the time to be rolling back pollution and air quality standards, especially when President Biden has ordered the United States re-join the Paris Climate Accords,” Mayor William Peduto said. “Pittsburgh and other cities are already acting to significantly reduce emissions, knowing that the costs of inaction will only get worse in the near future.” 

The amicus brief’s filing coincides with President Biden’s first set of environmental and climate executive orders and a directive from the Biden-Harris administration’s incoming EPA Administrator to revoke the Trump Administration’s Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, which rolled back required fuel efficiency improvements for new cars and light-duty trucks. 

The Local Government Coalition represents more than 10 million U.S. residents. Those signing onto today’s brief (in addition to Pittsburgh) include: Annapolis, Maryland; Boulder County, Colorado; Glen Rock, New Jersey; Harris County, Texas; Houston, Texas; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Providence, Rhode Island; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Salt Lake City, Utah; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the Mayors of Durham, North Carolina; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Phoenix, Arizona. 

The brief mentions: 

  • Pittsburgh's participation in the Local Government Coalition "first responders to climate change," working to reduce risks from transportation pollution. 
  • Pittsburgh's 2017 Climate Action Plan and efforts to reduce emissions 20% by 2023, 50% by 2030, and 80% by 2050, as compared to 2003 levels. 
  • Pittsburgh's calculation that transportation accounts for approximately 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Pittsburgh data showing high levels of asthma and exposure to unhealthy levels of particulate matter as a rationale for action.

The full amicus brief is available here



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Timothy McNulty
Communications Director
Mayor's Office