Mail Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Share
NEWS & EVENTS Subscribe to rss news feed  

Today PublicSource published an in-depth story about why the City of Pittsburgh’s Clean Air Act of 2010 hasn’t been implemented.

 

Pittsburgh City Council passed the law in 2011 requiring construction companies to retrofit a percentage of their diesel equipment to reduce harmful emissions if the equipment was being used on projects larger than $2.5 million that received at least $250,000 in public subsidies.

 

As reporter Emily DeMarco explains, diesel exhaust contains fine particles that can pass through the nose and throat and lodge themselves in the lungs, aggravating asthma and causing lung damage, as well as premature death. Last year, a group of experts from the World Health Organization classified diesel engine exhaust as more carcinogenic as secondhand cigarette smoke based in part on a large study that showed an increased risk of death from lung cancer in underground miners exposed to diesel exhaust.

 

Children, the elderly, those with heart and respiratory disease, and of course, construction workers, are most at risk. And when kids miss school because of asthma attacks, parents miss work to care for them. There are also more emergency room visits and higher insurance premiums.

 

But despite these compelling health and economic reasons to control diesel air pollution, regulations to implement the Pittsburgh ordinance still haven’t been finalized, making it unenforceable.

 

DeMarco quotes Rachel Filippini, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP): “If we truly want to be the most livable city, we have to contend with our air pollution. And one way to do that is to clean up construction vehicles.”

 

GASP reports that emissions from construction vehicles make up nearly a quarter of our diesel pollution problem in the region. But the good news is that emissions controls called diesel particulate filters and the use of widely available ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel can help eliminate a significant amount of the fine particles released by heavy-duty trucks and construction equipment.

 

To allow small construction companies to comply with this law and remain competitive, the Allegheny County Health Department and The Heinz Endowments have established the Small Construction Contractors Retrofit Program to help cover the cost of the required equipment.

 

Click here to read more about the delay in Pittsburgh’s implementing clean construction law and how to make your voice heard for clean air.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

events
December 13, 2014
“Particle Falls” Lighting Up the Holiday Season for a Difference The Heinz Endowments’ Breathe Project today launches artist Andrea Polli’s Particle Falls, a captivating digital-media installation that provides a real-time visualization of air quality.   At a time of year when Downtown Pittsburgh is aglow with holiday lights that raise … Learn More
October 29, 2014
Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge 2014-2015 Kicks Off The Green Workplace Challenge is back again for another year of exciting competition! If you work for a business, nonprofit, college or university, local government, or a K-12 school in southwestern Pennsylvania, sign up today to start saving money and … Learn More
October 18, 2014
2014 Pittsburgh Solar Tour   Most Pittsburgh house tours showcase beautiful interiors, tasteful design, and the glitz and glamour of bygone eras. The 2014 Pittsburgh Solar Tour is a home tour for the new Pittsburgh.   Join PennFuture to experience raw solar power, energy … Learn More
October 7, 2014
“Sustainability Pioneers” Documentary Premiere   How can Pittsburgh be a leader in building the bridge from our fossil fuel-based economy to an economy based on renewable energy and sustainable living?   Filmmaker and journalist Kirsi Jansa asks this question–arguably the most critical challenge of our … Learn More
October 7, 2014
Smoke Gets Into Your Eyes (Lungs too!)   For the third presentation in the series “Climate Change Here and Now,” scientist Ellis Robinson will investigate the origins and effects of atmospheric particles—unavoidable byproducts of the way our society creates and uses energy.   Robinson is a recent … Learn More
October 5, 2014
Save the Date: Clean Air Dash 5K Save the date and start logging those training miles! The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) second annual Clean Air Dash 5K on the South Side’s Three Rivers Heritage Trail will be here before you know it. The fast, flat and … Learn More
September 27, 2014
Trade Your Old Woodstove for Gift Cards   The Allegheny County Health Department is offering county residents cash incentives to once again dispose of old wood stoves and outdoor wood-fired boilers that do not meet current national emissions standards. The collection event will be held on Saturday, … Learn More
August 24, 2014
Breathe Project Family Ride at PedalPGH   Biking is a zero-emissions way to get around the city that’s good for the body and for our air quality. In celebration of Pittsburgh as a safe, bicycle-friendly city, we are proud to sponsor the Breathe Project Family Ride at Bike … Learn More
See all events
latest on facebook
  • Breathe Project

    Check out this fantastic story in Fast Company showcasing the Breathe Cam and Particle Falls!

    Using Livecams To Mobilize People Against Smog

    www.fastcompany.com

    Pittsburgh has an air-quality problem. Can tech and art mobilize a solution?

    Dec 19th 5:18pm • 1 Comment

    Breathe Project likes a photo.

    Dec 19th 5:15pm • No Comments

    Breathe Project commented on a post.

    Dec 19th 2:01pm • No Comments

    Don't forget to make your reservations to meet Particle Falls artist Andrea Polli on Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 4 to 6. The event is FREE, but reservations are appreciated at www.publicartpittsburgh.org or by calling 412-391-2060 ext. 237. Hope you can make it!

    Dec 11th 8:34pm • No Comments

    Breathe Project likes a photo.

    Dec 10th 6:19pm • No Comments

  • Press Contact
    The Heinz Endowments
    Jennifer Bails, Breathe Project communications coordinator
    Phone: 412-855-1329
    Email: jbails@heinz.org
    JOIN OUR COALITION Be part of the growing movement for clean air in the Pittsburgh region.
    Thank you for your support! Look for our updates in your email box. Please share this initiative with others who would be interested in joining as well:
    CONNECT WITH US
    Today's Air Quality Forecast:
    Moderate
    Tomorrow's Forecast:
    Moderate
    Learn More About AQI >
    CONTACT
    © Breathe Project 2014. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms of Service
    Privacy Policy
    Learn More