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California’s Policies to Reduce Air Pollution Are Working

California officials have gone to bat for their ability to regulate pollution from vehicles. When the Trump administration weakened auto emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, for instance, the state used its authority to impose stricter ones, and even successfully facing off against former President Donald Trump when he tried to stop it. A new report published in Science on Thursday shows that compared with the rest of the nation, California’s pollution controls have dramatically reduced emissions of diesel particulate matter, and argues the state policies should serve as a model for the rest of the country.

Diesel particulate matter is the toxic black exhaust that cars, trucks, buses, trains, ships, and other diesel-powered vehicles produce. It’s been shown to increase risk of cancer as well as cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Some bits of it are so small that they can also enter the bloodstream when we breathe them in, rendering them even more dangerous. This pollution disproportionately affects low-income communities of color.

California is the largest emitter of diesel particulate matter in the U.S., which […]

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