AB 349 Passes Senate: One Step Closer to Cleaner Air in Clark, Washoe Counties
Posted by Angelyn Tabalba in on May 31, 2021
Carson City, NV — Today, clean air advocates applauded the Nevada Senate passing Assembly Bill 349, after the bill’s passage in the Assembly. AB 349 would reduce smog pollution from in-name-only “Classic Cars,” a key measure to reduce transportation pollution that is hastening climate change and harming Nevadans’ health, particularly low-income and Black and brown communities. The bill also directs Clark and Washoe Counties to create programs to help vehicle owners whose vehicles will not be able to pass smog checks, either by repairing those vehicles or helping them access newer, cleaner cars.
“We are one step closer to breathing cleaner air across our state’s communities, and I am grateful for the Senate’s vote in support of AB 349,” said Assemblyman Howard Watts (D-Las Vegas), the bill’s sponsor. “I look forward to working with Clark and Washoe Counties to implement this bill’s measures and help consumers access cleaner, less-polluting vehicles.”
“Reducing smog pollution so that our families can breathe cleaner air has long been one of Nevada Latinxs’ priorities” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director for Chispa Nevada, a community organizing program of the League of Conservation Voters. “Closing the “Classic Cars” smog check loophole was a great way to achieve this, but we couldn’t close the loophole without finding a way to help vehicle owners whose cars will not be able to pass an emissions test. That’s why we’re particularly excited for the county programs that will help low-income vehicle owners get access to cleaner transportation. We thank the Senate for following the Assembly’s lead in supporting AB 349, and we urge Governor Sisolak to quickly sign the bill so that we can make its promise a reality.”
“Nevada’s transportation sector is the top source of greenhouse gas pollution in our state,” said Paul Selberg, Executive Director for Nevada Conservation League. “Cars and trucks that go unchecked for smog emissions can contribute heavily to a warming climate and air pollution that threatens public health. Removing, repairing, and replacing polluting vehicles will reduce our emission levels and put Nevada on track to meet our climate goals. We are proud to see the Legislature take this important step to protect our climate, health, and economy with the passage of AB 349.”
“AB 349 will reduce bad air quality days for Clark and Washoe Counties, which will help families like mine with children who struggle with respiratory issues,” said Cinthia Moore, national lead for EcoMadres, a project of Moms Clean Air Force. “Latino children are 60% more likely to suffer from an asthma attack exacerbated by air pollution. We thank the Assembly and the Senate for passing AB 349 to repair or replace polluting vehicles and help improve our air quality and the health of our families.”
“Transportation impacts every aspect of our day-to-day lives, from how we get to work, how we get to the grocery store, visit the doctor, to even the very air that we breathe,” said Rev. Jackson with the Faith Organizing Alliance. “Yet not all members of our community have the same access and ease of mobility as others, and we do not bear the burden of air pollution the same way. One of the ways we think we can address this is by reducing pollution that comes from vehicles, to reduce contamination that is making our community sick.”
After the Assembly concurs on its most recent amendment, AB 349 will head to Governor Sisolak’s desk for his signature.