SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) –  A group of Utah lawmakers and doctors claim that our polluted air makes COVID-19 infections worse and that the Environmental Protection Agency is using the distraction of the pandemic to roll back emission standards for cars.

On March 31st the EPA finalized President Donald Trump’s rollback of clean car standards, allowing model year 2021 to 2026 vehicles to emit more pollutants.

RELATED: Month-long challenge encourages Utahns to reduce vehicle emissions

State Representative Suzanne Harrison (D – Sandy, Draper & White City) is also a physician and says this rollback will hurt Utahns both physically and fiscally. 

She says she’s seen her patients and constituents harmed by Utah’s poor air quality and because clean cars get better mileage this rollback will cost drivers more at at the pumps.

“This rollback of the clean car standards presents a new threat in our efforts to clean up our air,” Rep. Harrison said Thursday. “Abandoning the clean car standards will increase pollution. It will hurt our health. It will hurt our wallets and it will hurt our economy here in Utah. It’s the wrong choice for Utah.” 

RELATED: U of U: Air quality in Utah better since COVID-19

Dr. Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment calls the EPA rollback “a gift to the fossil fuel industry”.

ABC4 News sent a e-mail to the Utah Petroleum Association and so far we have not received a response.