CABBIE Awards 2009: Mike Hurley

Clean Air Board Bold Innovators for the Environment (CABBIE) Awards

2009

CABBIE Award presented to Mike Hurley


Mary Kay Durham, Mike Hurley and Win Cleland

March 19th, 2009 – The Clean Air Board annually presents Clean Air Board Bold Innovators for the Environment, CABBIE awards to people who are making a real difference for air quality in Central Pennsylvania. We are pleased to present Mike Hurley a CABBIE award for leading the effort to significantly reduce school bus idling in central Pennsylvania and beyond.

Mike served as President the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO) in 2006-2007. With 3600 members state-wide representing 450 school districts, Mike had the opportunity to take a leadership role in promoting school bus anti-idling guidelines statewide. Last year, he was appointed to the School Committee and provided the membership with idle reduction articles and tips, including a presentation…all before we were assured that an anti-idling regulation or law would ever be passed.

Mike led the development of the first school district anti-idling guidelines in the region, provided anti-idling materials and developed a training session for District school bus drivers, installed anti-idling signs at District schools, again before the recently enacted law required anti-idling signage and invited CAB members to present to school bus drivers the health concerns of diesel particulate matter.

Presenting this award to Mike Hurley also recognizes the leadership that Mrs. Mary Kay Durham and the Carlisle Area School District has shown in making the district a model for reducing school bus idling to protect students’ health.

Plaque reads:

CABBIE Award

Clean Air Board Bold Innovators for the Environment presented on March 19, 2009 to Mike Hurley in recognition of diligent work to protect students’ health by promoting a school bus anti-idling program for Carlisle Area School District and the state of Pennsylvania.

CABBIE Awards 2007: “Clean Air Board Bold Innovators for the Environment”

“Clean Air Board Bold Innovators for the Environment”

The ‘CABBIE’ is an award given by the Clean Air Board to people from the business community, medical community, schools or faith organizations in recognition of their leadership in addressing the air quality issue in our community.

From the Business Community:

Keen Transport, Inc.

Jesse Keen is Vice President of Keen Transport Inc., responsible for the purchase and maintenance of approximately 500 trucks and 1200 trailers that are owned and operated by Keen Transport, Cressler Trucking and PDQ Transport. From 1969 until October, 1999 he was president and owner of Keen Truck Rental & Leasing, a multi state leasing company that operated in excess of 2000 pieces of equipment. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Ameriquest, a national purchasing consortium of truck leasing and trucking companies. Jesse has served on numerous industry associations & trade groups, including president of Central Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association. Locally, he has served as Chairman of the annual United Way campaign & on the United Way Board. Most important for us, he serves as an advisor to the CAB executive board. From Jesse, we have been given a peek into the obstacles a driver faces while on the road as well as the maintenance, repair and cost of owning a fleet of trucks. A life long resident of Central Pennsylvania, he currently lives in Harrisburg with his wife Lorraine.

Pushing the transportation industry to take a leadership role in becoming part of the air quality solution, Jesse organized an educational symposium for area trucking firms and warehouse owners to raise awareness of the steps they can take to improve air quality. Jesse and Bill Keen have taken the lead in investing in the latest environmentally-friendly technology for their equipment, and have been active advocates to the DEP Environmental Quality Board for the CAB initiated state-wide anti-idling regulations.

For their leadership in showing their industry and us, how to be better stewards of the environment, Bill and Jesse Keen of Keen Transport, Inc. receive the CABBIE award.

From the Central Pennsylvania Community:

Dr. Russell and Jean Macaluso

Dr. Russell and Jean Macaluso asked us to convey this message for them:

After living in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the Macalusos were ready to live in a place that was not only beautiful but free of the stresses of city living. With two children in tow, Russ and Jean moved to Cumberland County seventeen years ago because it appeared to be an excellent area to work and raise a family. At that time, the landscape was more rural than urban and the presence of trucks was minimal.  Now that the warehousing and trucking industry has grown in leaps and bounds, changing the landscape and air quality, as health professionals, their concern for healthy air to breathe has increased as well.  They are interested both in gathering facts about the quality of the air we breathe and to do what they can to reduce the amount of pollution in the form of particulate matter in that same air.  They realize that they are doing this not only for their three children and future grandchildren but for this great community as well.

For stepping forward to allow the DEP to emplace an air quality monitor on their property, Dr. Russell and Jean Macaluso receive the CABBIE award.

From the Medical Community:

Dr. Philip Carey

Born in Gettysburg, Philip Carey received his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Dr. Carey received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1976 and received his Fellowship in Thoracic Medicine from Geisinger Medical Center in 1987. He has been a physician in Carlisle since 1980. He lives in Carlisle with his wife, Rebecca and son, Christian.

Dr. Carey gave us the impetus to start the Clean Air Board by writing the letter signed by over ¾ of the Cumberland County physicians, alerting the central Pennsylvania area residents to the dangers of PM2.5. He continues to raise the awareness of the public by giving presentations to elected officials, congregations, schools and organizations.

For his leadership in raising community awareness to the dangers of PM2.5, Dr. Carey receives the CABBIE award.

Drs. Jim and Marion Johnston

Jim and Marion Johnston are both retired physicians – Marion a retired pediatrician and Jim a former surgeon. They have resided in Carlisle for the past 42 years, and have been very involved in community groups, such as the Carlisle Theatre Board and Stevens Mental Health Center. The couple received the Molly Pitcher award for their community service. Marion and Jim have also spent a significant amount of time volunteering their medical services in third world countries such as Africa and Guatemala. They enjoy spending time with their five children and eleven grandchildren.

In the summer of 2005, after the EPA designated many areas around the country, including Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle and several other areas within Pennsylvania, as non-attainment for fine particulates , Jim and Marion raised the alarm in the medical community encouraging them to take action. They have been dependable supporters of CAB activities, still working behind the scenes to instigate action to improve our air quality.

For their leadership in sounding the first call to action on the dangers of PM2.5, Drs. Jim and Marion Johnston receive the CABBIE award.

Dr. David Masland

Dr. David Masland is a life-long resident of Cumberland County except for his time in medical school and serving his country in Panama. As a boy he used to ride horses to the top of the mountain and see clearly across the valley. As a young man he had the opportunity to study grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park and to learn falconry from the naturalists, Frank and John Craighead. His education and military service complete, David and Elizabeth – Trouble to her friends – came back home and raised their daughters, Janet and Kim, and their son, David, while practicing medicine. Now retired they have grandchildren they care about.  Dr. Masland has been the leading citizen of his generation in promoting conservation in our area, helping with all nature preservation efforts in recent memory.  Two summers ago Dr. Masland risked his reputation by placing his name on an open letter from physicians concerned with air pollution in Cumberland County.  You see, he was the one who took the crank calls.  Dr. Masland has received a number of awards for his good works but none of these awards have meant as much to him and his family as his resignation from the school board.  CAB wants to change that.  In the summer of 2005, Dr. Masland solicited area physicians’ support for the letter written by Dr. Phil Carey on the dangers of PM2.5. After receiving 106 signatures, he placed an ad in area newspapers to raise awareness and as a call for action. We want Dr. Masland to think of what he set in motion by publishing that open letter in the local newspapers every time he looks at this oak tree.  This monitor that we are celebrating today is a direct result of that letter.

For his leadership in organizing physicians to raise community awareness of the dangers of PM2.5, Dr. Masland receives the CABBIE award.

From the Religious Community:

Second Presbyterian Church

When Associate Pastor Jennifer McKenna read about Central Pennsylvania’s poor air quality in the advertisement published in area newspapers by physicians in August 2005, she inspired her church members to take action to address the problem. Second Presbyterian Church Sessions and members have continued to inspire and support the Clean Air Board while encouraging all congregations to join the Clean Air Board.

For its members’ unending support, which allowed the vision of CAB to become a reality, the Second Presbyterian Church receives the CABBIE Award.

From the Student Community:

Greg Ellerman

Greg graduated from Dickinson College in 2006 with an Environmental Science major. Born and raised in Newville, Pennsylvania, he feels fortunate to have attended college so close to his home and family. During the summer of 2006 Greg completed an academic internship which involved the new Dickinson Biodiesel project. Greg’s main objective for this project was to create a system for producing Biodiesel for use in all the college’s diesel equipment. Greg was instrumental in the entire process, from establishing contacts of local businesses to obtain used oil, picking up and delivering oil barrels, setting up the whole processing equipment, processing the oil and washing usable fuel. Now that he has completed his Dickinson degree, Greg hopes to attend Shippensburg University to begin his Masters degree in Geo. Environmental Studies. For now, Greg is enjoying working on the farm and riding horses.

For his efforts in bringing a more environmentally friendly alternative fuel to the Dickinson College community which helps improve all of our air quality, Greg Ellerman receives the CABBIE award.

Jensen Gelfond

Jensen Gelfond is a junior Environmental Studies major at Dickinson College. He originally hails from Long Valley, New Jersey, though his parents now live in the beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina. For the past two semesters Jensen has completed research with CAB on solutions to diesel truck idling. On campus Jensen has worked for the past 5 semesters as an Environmental Sustainability intern, implementing programs to aid in Dickinson’s recycling, waste reduction, and global warming awareness programs. Last semester he participated in Dickinson’s integrated environmental studies watershed semester, where he spent a month traveling to Louisiana to study marsh wetland loss and Hurricane Katrina. He resides in Dickinson’s Center for Sustainable Living, which is an environmentally friendly intentional community on Dickinson’s campus. When not stumping for the environment, Jensen enjoys backpacking, racquetball, and listening to baseball on the radio.

He has done two research papers for not only his classes, but for the CAB. The first paper is called Legislative and Technology Solutions to Truck-Generated Diesel Particulate Pollution in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and another paper that will be completed soon is called Reducing Diesel Truck Idling in Pennsylvania: An Examination of a Proposed Statewide Anti-Idling Regulation. Jensen received national attention from Argonne National Labs, who read his paper, “Legislative and Technological Solutions to Truck-Generated Diesel Particulate Pollution In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania” after it was posted on the CAB website. CAB used some of his research for our presentations.

For his efforts implementing the latest environmentally friendly programs for Dickinson College and for sharing his research papers with us, Jensen Gelfond receives the CABBIE award.

Clean Air Resolution: Cumberland County, PA

CLEAN AIR RESOLUTION

Resolution Regarding Air Quality in Cumberland County

Authored by the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania

ADD YOUR NAME TO THE RESOLUTION

SEE CURRENT SIGNERS

Whereas,

pollution from diesel engine emissions has been proven to be harmful to our health. Diesel exhaust can contain 40 hazardous air pollutants, 15 of which are known human carcinogens. Fine particles from diesel emissions have been linked to heart attacks, asthma, stroke, stunted lung growth and premature death. Children and seniors are at the greatest risk from these emissions1; and

Whereas,

air quality has been shown to be especially degraded in Cumberland County and EPA has designated the County as being in non-attainment of fine particle (PM 2.5) and ozone standards. The average lifetime diesel soot cancer risk here is 393 times greater than the accepted EPA cancer level of one in one million2. Cumberland County is among the 2% most polluted counties in the nation for fine particle pollution3; and

Whereas,

in August 2005 more than 100 doctors in the region submitted a paid advertisement to local media citing statistics about air pollution and attributing the problem primarily to fine particle pollution from diesel exhaust and the heavy concentration of trucks in the area; and

Whereas,

“the earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it,” as the Psalmist says, and human beings are called to be responsible stewards of God’s creation;

Therefore, the undersigned members of the Cumberland County faith community hereby ask that:

1. Planning and municipal authorities in Cumberland County take air quality factors into account in land use planning decisions, particularly with regard to diesel trucks and buses that contribute to air quality degradation.

2. Cumberland County enact ordinances to limit air pollution from the idling of diesel-powered vehicles.

3. Truck facilities in Cumberland County implement programs to reduce diesel emissions, including installation of electrification units to eliminate the need for extensive diesel-powered truck idling.

4. School districts in Cumberland County enact policies limiting school bus idling and aggressively pursue grant funding and programs to retrofit and upgrade school bus diesel engines with devices to help control harmful emissions.

CITATIONS

1. Clean Air Task Force, “Diesel and Health in America,” February 2005. Available online at http://www.catf.us/publications/view/83

2. Clean Air Task Force, Diesel Project. Available at http://www.catf.us/projects/diesel/

3. American Lung Association, “State of the Air 2005.” Available online at http://lungaction.org/reports/stateoftheair2005.html

4. The Sentinel: Carlisle, PA. August 23, 2005

The Health Risks of Diesel Idling: Tami Biddle, Clean Air Board

The Health Risks of Diesel Idling (30 KB)

by Tami Biddle

Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania

October 2008

In recent years scientists have begun to understand a great deal about the effects of a type of air pollution referred to as “particulate matter.”  One type that is especially worrisome is called PM 2.5, meaning matter that is 2.5 micrometers or smaller in size.  This means, roughly, about one-thirtieth the size of a human hair.  The reason that PM 2.5 is dangerous is because the particles are small enough to penetrate into the deepest part of the lungs. And this, in turn, means that they are directly linked to asthma, bronchitis, and chronic respiratory illness.  Scientists have also linked PM 2.5 to low birth weight babies, heart disease, some cancers, and premature deaths in elderly people.

Children are more vulnerable to the health risks of PM 2.5 because their immune and respiratory systems are still developing. Also, children breathe up to 50 percent more air per pound of body weight than adults.  The breathing of fine particles by children is believed to cause both acute and chronic respiratory problems such as asthma.  Forty percent of all US asthma cases are in children, yet children make up only 25 percent of the US population.[1]

The sources of PM 2.5 include fuel combustion from automobiles, power plants, wood burning, and industrial processes.  But a major contributor to PM 2.5 levels is diesel powered vehicles such as trucks and buses. These fine particles are also formed in the atmosphere when gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides — all of which are also products of fuel combustion — are transformed in the air by chemical reactions.  Fine particles are attracted to water, thus contributing to acid rain.  Acid rain affects all things biological, and can have direct effects on human health.  For all these reasons, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken an initiative to monitor and address fine particles in the atmosphere.

The seriousness of the heath risks posed by PM 2.5, and the special impact of particulate matter on children, has prompted many communities to start to address the problem in multiple ways.  One of the most important has been to encourage the limitation of idling by school buses.  Each year, over 21,000 school buses transport 1.5 million children to schools in Pennsylvania.[2] Restricting diesel idling would improve the health of Pennsylvania’s children, and the health of the drivers who transport them each day.


[1] Environmental Protection Agency   http://www.epa.gov/region4/sesd/pm25/p2.htm

[2] Clean Air Council   http://www.cleanair.org

CAB: Testimony Before the Environmental Quality Board about Anti-Idling Regulations

CAB: Testimony Before the Environmental Quality Board about Anti-Idling Regulations(PDF)

February 12, 2008

Good Afternoon. My name is Thomas Au. I am here today on behalf of the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania.

The Clean Air Board was formed in the fall of 2005 after over 100 Cumberland County physicians signed an open letter in the newspapers informing the community of the growing danger of ozone and particulate pollution. The medical professionals observed that many of the health problems they see were attributable to air pollution that we all breathe. The letter stated: “Breathing diesel emissions containing these fine particulates can result in exacerbation of lung disease, i.e., asthma and emphysema, and can precipitate heart attacks. The populations at particular risk include infants, children, and the elderly with pre-existing heart and lung disease.” The Clean Air Board now includes people from many walks of life – ministers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, civic leaders, and ordinary citizens.

The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania is a faith-based citizens’ initiative dedicated to achieving clean air to protect our health and quality of life. We accomplish our mission by: raising public awareness of air quality issues; advocating, promoting and coordinating policy and practices for clean air; and, monitoring air quality. CAB is an entirely volunteer organization. We have no paid staff.

One of the air pollution problems the Board has identified in central Pennsylvania is the concentration of diesel exhaust emissions at rest stops, truck stops, and along the sides of roads. Due to an extensive interstate road system and geography, Pennsylvania has become a transportation and distribution hub for the nation. Every truck that idles over a long period of time at rest stops and truck facilities adds pounds of ground level pollutants.

The Board examined strategies that can significantly reduce the amount of air pollution produced by commercial vehicles with diesel engines. Idling by large diesel powered vehicles contributes significantly to ground level fine particulate matter pollution (PM 2.5) and leads to the formation of ozone pollution. The Board has met with local governments, the trucking industry, and civic groups to better understand the problems that truck and bus operators face if a regulation or statute is adopted. The Board also discussed the problem of enforcement with municipalities which already have adopted limitations on idling.

On October 16, 2006, the Clean Air Board filed a petition with the Environmental Quality Board to adopt a state-wide regulation to limit idling of diesel powered vehicles. The Clean Air Board’s 2006 petition asked the Department of Environmental Protection and the EQB to adopt regulations to limit idling by commercial diesel vehicles.

In drafting a proposed regulation for the Environmental Quality Board and the Department of Environmental Protection to consider, the Clean Air Board recognized that certain operational needs of the transportation industry may require some amount of idling. We included exemptions that would accommodate these operational needs. However, we recognize that idling for the sole purpose of heating and cooling of cabs has been made unnecessary by appropriate modern technology. Air quality benefits can also be achieved by reducing the amount of unnecessary idling that occurs when vehicles are waiting to load and unload.

The residents of Cumberland County are keenly aware of this diesel exhaust pollution. DEP’s studies have concluded that Cumberland County experiences the highest number of long duration idling hours in the Commonwealth. Idling emissions are a growing problem with the increase of long-haul diesel trucks traveling the highways of the Commonwealth. Where diesel trucks and buses congregate — at truck stops, rest areas, and parking lots — the concentration of emissions is especially harmful to those who must breathe these emissions – workers, drivers, residents. Along with direct emission of fine particulate, diesel powered vehicles emit nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), both of which contribute to ground-level ozone and particulate matter. Ozone and fine particulate matter are pollutants that can cause or exacerbate breathing problems, especially in people with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. These air pollution concerns are not only evident in central Pennsylvania, but are also evident in communities along our major transportation arteries across the state.

Excessive idling unnecessarily wastes fuel. One gallon of diesel fuel is burned for every hour spent idling. DEP estimates that diesel trucks spend 22.3 million hours a year in Pennsylvania in long-duration idling (idling for more than 15 minutes) – approximately 95 percent of which is due to truck travel rest periods. If each of the 13,000 long-haul trucks that idle in Pennsylvania each day used alternative means to provide power during rest periods, diesel fuel use would be cut by more than 20 million gallons per year. We believe that many in the transportation industry recognize the economic value of reducing idling time.

The proposed idling regulation is consistent with the EPA model rule and the state rules in those states which have adopted idling regulations. Pennsylvania is only state in the northeast that does not have an idling rule. The current situation may encourage some operators to rest in Pennsylvania and idle their trucks in Pennsylvania, thereby aggravating our air pollution problems. Other communities in Pennsylvania, such as those along I-80 in Luzerne County and along I-78 in the Lehigh Valley, also receive a disproportional share of long-duration idling emissions.

Many trucking operators and companies have installed auxiliary power systems, battery operated systems, and other idling reduction systems on their diesel vehicles to avoid the need to run the main engines to heat or cool the cab during rest periods. Technology has been developing rapidly to ensure the comfort of drivers during mandated rest periods. Among other initiatives, the Commonwealth has supported the installation of the Idle-Aire heating and cooling systems at several truck stops in Pennsylvania. The May 1, 2010 expiration date for the temperature related exemption of idling during rest periods provides companies and drivers with sufficient time to install bunk heaters, battery systems, or auxiliary power units (APUs). The regulation also requires truck operators to use existing facility electrification systems, such as Idle-Aire, if they are installed and available for use. We believe this is a sensible requirement and we support this requirement.

We do not support any additional exemptions for idling, other than the ones listed in the proposed regulation. As stated earlier, the proposed regulation accommodates legitimate operational needs of the transportation industry, as stated in sections 126.612(a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(5), and in other provisions of the proposed regulation. Turning engines on and off while waiting to load and unload, where the truck or bus is not on a public road, is not an undue burden.

We believe that we need to protect school children from unnecessary exposure to diesel emissions, while protecting their safety. We recognize that there may be certain limited situations, where school buses may need to idle on public streets in order not to tie up traffic while waiting to pick up children. This is covered in section 126.612(a)(11) of the proposed regulation. When school buses are on school property, there are no such traffic concerns and they should not idle. We suggest that the exemption for school bus idling be clarified to allow such idling to public streets and not allow such idling while on school property.

Because of our shared concerns about the quality of the air we are breathing and the need to take steps to reduce diesel engine idling emissions, we have circulated a petition among local residents and communities in support of the proposed regulations. The Clean Air Board is pleased to submit petitions signed by over 1,400 central Pennsylvania residents supporting the Environmental Quality Board’s action in proposing these regulations. The petitions include the resident’s name, address, municipality, and zip code. Signers include residents of Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Lancaster County, York County, Perry County, and other counties. Most of the signers of the petition are not members of the Clean Air Board. These citizens signed the petition because they are interested in improving our air quality and interested in this proposed regulation.

The Clean Air Board wants to publicly thank the members of the Environmental Quality Board and the staff of the Department of Environmental Protection for the work that you have put into this proposed regulation. You have listened to our concerns. You have tried to address our concerns. In the end, we believe you will adopt regulations that we can be proud of.

Testimony before the Environmental Quality Board by the Rev. Duane Fickeisen

February 13, 2008

Testimony before the Environmental Quality Board by the Rev. Duane Fickeisen (PDF)

Harrisburg, PA

Testimony before the Environmental Quality Board

Good afternoon. My name is Duane Fickeisen and I am one of the pastors of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley in Boiling Springs. I also serve on the board of the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania. I speak as a religious leader in support of the proposed regulation of idling.

Thank you for the efforts you have made to craft an effective and reasonable proposed regulation. I feel it is an excellent example of citizens and government working together to improve the quality of life in our state.

I am concerned about the health impacts of PM2.5 in the air we breathe. Members of the congregation I serve reside throughout the Cumberland Valley. Several of them suffer from respiratory and cardiac ailments. Some of them have expressed to me the belief that high PM2.5 levels impact their breathing. They have noticed that they are especially affected on days when the Air Quality Index is high, primarily due to fine particulates. This continues to have serious effects on the quality of their lives.

While the Carlisle/Harrisburg area is among the worst in the nation for fine particulate air pollution, other parts of Pennsylvania — especially the Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Philadelphia areas — also experience unhealthy levels of PM2.5.

It is my understanding of the medical research on effects of exposure to fine particulates that no safe level has been established, that even relatively small reductions in exposure have been estimated to provide significant health benefits, and that even short-term exposure to high concentrations increases the risk of heart attack. Further, I understand that exposure to fine particulates causes abnormal lung development in children that is irreversible.

I am especially concerned about the people who are frequently exposed to high concentrations of PM2.5 for long periods, including those who spend much of their time near diesel exhaust sources — on highways, at or near warehouses and trucking facilities, in or near school busses, for example. Professional drivers, highway construction crews, police and other emergency responders, and school children seem particularly vulnerable as does anyone who lives or works within 1000 feet of a highway, truck route, or trucking facility.

My religion teaches that we have a compelling responsibility to care for every person in our community — to practice a radical hospitality that cares for all. We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We also teach, along with virtually all of the world’s religions, that

we are called to be effective stewards of the Earth. Unitarian Universalists are called to respect the interdependent web of all existence. Whether you arrive at the call to stewardship from an understanding that God created it, saw that it was good, and charged us to care for it; from the belief that we owe it to future generations to protect the planet; or from the standpoint that it just makes sense not to foul our own nest, I think most people would agree that we should take our stewardship seriously.

Not only that, but the Commonwealth’s Constitution includes a declaration of rights, which includes this language in Section 27, titled Natural Resources and the Public Estate:

“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

That seems pretty clear to me. As an agency of the Commonwealth, as one of the trustees of these resources, the people have a right to expect that you’ll act to protect, conserve, and maintain clean air.

The proposed regulation is balanced. It grants what seems an appropriate time line for the installation of alternative ways for drivers to maintain comfort in truck cabs during rest periods. With the rising costs of fuel, installation of alternative systems is cost effective.

I don’t expect that this regulation alone will solve all the problems of fine particulates in our air. It may not even bring us into attainment with Federal air quality standards, but I do believe it will be helpful, that it has the potential to make a difference, and that it will not be unfair or burdensome to drivers.

Exposure to high levels of PM2.5 impacts the quality of life of people who suffer from respiratory ailments and reduces their life expectancy. Children who are exposed to it may never develop normal lung capacity, with permanent impacts on their lives.

Our Constitution asserts that clean air is a right of the people and promises us that the Commonwealth will protect it. From a religious and ethical perspective, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth’s resources, including the very air be breathe.

The proposed regulation would be a step toward fulfilling the role of trustee for public natural resources. I urge your adoption of it.

Thank you.

Good afternoon. My name is Duane Fickeisen and I am one of the pastors of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley in Boiling Springs. I also serve on the board of the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania. I speak as a religious leader in support of the proposed regulation of idling.
Thank you for the efforts you have made to craft an effective and reasonable proposed regulation. I feel it is an excellent example of citizens and government working together to improve the quality of life in our state.
I am concerned about the health impacts of PM2.5 in the air we breathe. Members of the congregation I serve reside throughout the Cumberland Valley. Several of them suffer from respiratory and cardiac ailments. Some of them have expressed to me the belief that high PM2.5 levels impact their breathing. They have noticed that they are especially affected on days when the Air Quality Index is high, primarily due to fine particulates. This continues to have serious effects on the quality of their lives.
While the Carlisle/Harrisburg area is among the worst in the nation for fine particulate air pollution, other parts of Pennsylvania — especially the Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Philadelphia areas — also experience unhealthy levels of PM2.5.
It is my understanding of the medical research on effects of exposure to fine particulates that no safe level has been established, that even relatively small reductions in exposure have been estimated to provide significant health benefits, and that even short-term exposure to high concentrations increases the risk of heart attack. Further, I understand that exposure to fine particulates causes abnormal lung development in children that is irreversible.
I am especially concerned about the people who are frequently exposed to high concentrations of PM2.5 for long periods, including those who spend much of their time near diesel exhaust sources — on highways, at or near warehouses and trucking facilities, in or near school busses, for example. Professional drivers, highway construction crews, police and other emergency responders, and school children seem particularly vulnerable as does anyone who lives or works within 1000 feet of a highway, truck route, or trucking facility.
My religion teaches that we have a compelling responsibility to care for every person in our community — to practice a radical hospitality that cares for all. We affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We also teach, along with virtually all of the world’s religions, that
we are called to be effective stewards of the Earth. Unitarian Universalists are called to respect the interdependent web of all existence. Whether you arrive at the call to stewardship from an understanding that God created it, saw that it was good, and charged us to care for it; from the belief that we owe it to future generations to protect the planet; or from the standpoint that it just makes sense not to foul our own nest, I think most people would agree that we should take our stewardship seriously.
Not only that, but the Commonwealth’s Constitution includes a declaration of rights, which includes this language in Section 27, titled Natural Resources and the Public Estate:
“The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”
That seems pretty clear to me. As an agency of the Commonwealth, as one of the trustees of these resources, the people have a right to expect that you’ll act to protect, conserve, and maintain clean air.
The proposed regulation is balanced. It grants what seems an appropriate time line for the installation of alternative ways for drivers to maintain comfort in truck cabs during rest periods. With the rising costs of fuel, installation of alternative systems is cost effective.
I don’t expect that this regulation alone will solve all the problems of fine particulates in our air. It may not even bring us into attainment with Federal air quality standards, but I do believe it will be helpful, that it has the potential to make a difference, and that it will not be unfair or burdensome to drivers.
Exposure to high levels of PM2.5 impacts the quality of life of people who suffer from respiratory ailments and reduces their life expectancy. Children who are exposed to it may never develop normal lung capacity, with permanent impacts on their lives.
Our Constitution asserts that clean air is a right of the people and promises us that the Commonwealth will protect it. From a religious and ethical perspective, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth’s resources, including the very air be breathe.
The proposed regulation would be a step toward fulfilling the role of trustee for public natural resources. I urge your adoption of it.
Thank you.
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