The Allegheny County Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution is a comprehensive campaign led by Clean Water Action and the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), to reduce deadly particulate emissions from all diesel sectors, including waste haulers, trucks, buses, locomotives, and marine vessels . This campaign is consistent with the National Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution, a multi-state campaign whose aim is to reduce diesel pollution overall by 40 percent by the year 2012, 55 percent by 2015 and 70 percent by the year 2020.
On April 29, 2009, Pittsburgh was ranked by the American Lung Association as having the worst air quality in the United States, due to our repeated short-term violations of federal particulate pollution standards. Diesel vehicles contribute to this problem, their emissions triggering thousands of asthma attacks and hundreds of heart attacks in the Pittsburgh area each year. Reducing diesel particulate pollution is a key strategy for achieving healthy, clean air in Allegheny County and the region.
Recognizing that diesel vehicles are an integral part of the American economy, and are often the safest and most efficient mode of travel, the Allegheny County Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution promotes the following solutions to the diesel problem:
- Diesel Retrofits: Brand new diesel vehicles (2007 and beyond) come equipped with highly effective tailpipe technology that reduces particulate pollution by more than 85%. While these clean diesels will, in time, replace existing fleets, it is important to address dirty diesels that will remain in service for the next 20 or more years. By retrofitting these vehicles with various tailpipe and engine technologies, we can curb the diesel problem sooner rather than later.
- Anti-Idling Strategies: Due to perceived operator convenience and seasonal temperature constraints, diesel vehicles spend an astonishing amount of time idling, or unnecessarily running their engines. This practice wastes fuel, and adds excessive pollution to the very air that pedestrians, drivers, and neighbors all breathe. To discourage convenience and habit related idling, the Partnership supports and promotes the passage of Anti-Idling Regulations and/or Legislation, limiting diesel idling to a small number of minutes per hour. For temperature-related concerns, such as heating or cooling the cab of the vehicle in extreme weather, the Partnership supports the installation of alternative power technology, that can provide such amenities, without running the vehicle’s engine.