Archive for July, 2011
Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
The Clean Air Act has been created to ensure that we don’t use public dollars to pollute our air. Human exposure to diesel particulate emissions and other diesel pollutants increases health care costs, missed school days, lost worker productivity and premature mortality — cancer risk from diesel pollution alone in Pittsburgh is hundreds of times greater than the EPA’s acceptable cancer level of one in a million. Moreover, the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2011″ report rated Pittsburgh’s air quality as “the nation’s third most polluted area for short-term particle pollution for the second year in a row.” As you can imagine, this is not a selling point for our city. In fact, it’s a real factor in keeping companies from moving here and in slowing our economic progress.
The act requires construction vehicles for city-subsidized projects to have the “Best Available Retrofit Technology” in order to reduce these emissions. The benefits will spread even wider when these same contractors end up using the retrofitted vehicles on privately run construction sites. While we were one of the first cities to enact clean air legislation under David L. Lawrence, we’ve sadly fallen behind. The Clean Air Act is the first legislation to clean our air in decades and has been over a year in the making.
Now, as the prime sponsor of the legislation, I’m asking for your help in getting the Clean Air Act passed. This legislation has been co-sponsored in Pittsburgh City Council by Doug Shields, Bruce Kraus and Natalia Rudiak — and they deserve thanks for that. But, last week — when it came up for a vote — a majority of Council decided to put it on hold. The Clean Air Act is ready to go and the preliminary vote is scheduled for Wednesday, July 6 at 10:00 AM.
For the sake of Pittsburgh’s air, please contact City Hall now (click here) and let them know that the time has come to pass this much needed legislation. Let them know you want and need a cleaner, greener Pittsburgh.