EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Monday so-called Tier 3 standards, which aim to curb emissions from cars and trucks, would help avoid 2,000 premature deaths and as many as 50,000 cases of respiratory illnesses.
"These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our pocketbooks," she said in a statement Monday.
The new standards should reduce gasoline sulfur levels by more than 60 percent, cutting some of the components that make up smog. The new standards will be introduced gradually beginning with model year 2017.
The Natural Resources Defense Council said the proposals would have a marginal affect on retail gasoline prices.
"These standards will clean our air, protect our health and save money," Luke Tonachel, a vehicles analyst at the advocacy group said in a statement Monday.