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Mich. environmental and health groups to Trump: Don't roll back clean car standards

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Michigan health and environmental advocates are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to maintain current federal clean car standards.

The standards were adopted in 2012 to set fuel efficiency and carbon emission requirements for companies that manufacture cars and light trucks.

"Anyone who cares about the condition of Michigan's air or the Great Lakes should really care that the Trump administration is set to tear apart the clean car standards," said Sean McBrearty, Michigan organizer for Clean Water Action.

McBrearty said the Trump administration seems poised to roll back or eliminate clean car standards in the coming days.

McBrearty said weakening the standards would increase air pollution and threaten Michigan's natural resources.

"The clean air standards have been a driver of keeping carbon out of our atmosphere and reducing tailpipe pollution, which is key to protecting our environment, key to fighting climate change," said McBrearty.

McBrearty said the standards also encourage innovation by Michigan automakers and keep them competitive with foreign automakers.

Maintaining the current clean car standards is critical to public health, according to Joyce Stein, board member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments.

"If Administrator Pruitt and President Trump continue down this irresponsible path, Michigan families can count on unhealthier days ahead," said Stein.

Stein said rolling back the standards would increase air pollution that exacerbates respiratory illness, like asthma, and cardiac conditions.

According to McBrearty, a poll conducted in 2017 showed that 73% of Michiganders support clean car standards on a bi-partisan basis.

This story has been updated to correct Joyce Stein's first name.

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