Newly-signed tollway law threatens our kids’ respiratory health

Highway projects historically result in unintended consequences
For Immediate Release

ST. PETERSBURG -- We can expect Floridians’ health and air quality to get worse in the near future after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Transportation Corridors bill into law today. The bill, (SB 7068), commits billions of tax dollars to build three new tollways.

In response, Environment Florida state director Jennifer Rubiello released the following statement:

“Florida has taken a wrong turn with the Transportation Corridors bill.

“Road repairs, public transit improvements and more walkable and bikeable cities -- not endless miles of asphalt -- have to be the future of transportation.

“Highway expansion sets off a chain reaction of societal decisions that ultimately leads to more cars on the road, usually leading to more traffic.

“Even worse, those additional vehicles exacerbate dangerous air pollution. Exhaust spews benzene, nitrogen dioxide and other pollutants into the air near highways. An alarming new report published in the Lancet Planetary Health journal earlier this month found that as many as 4 million new cases of pediatric asthma occur every year because of exposure to traffic fumes.

“We need to come up with better solutions as Florida grows. Our children’s lungs are depending on it.”

Environment Florida is a statewide, citizen based environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water and open space.