EPA sets new standard on airborne soot

The Clean Air Board applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to set a  stronger national air quality standard on fine particulate matter (PM2.5), also known as soot - one of the nation’s most lethal air pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set limits on these airborne microscopic particles, following the findings by independent scientists that this pollutant causes premature death at levels well below what was considered safe.

The EPA tightened the limit, called the national ambient air quality standards, for the annual average level of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) to 12 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) from the outdated standard set in 1997 of 15 µg/m3.  “We have been waiting for this update of the national standard for a long time.” said Thomas Au, Clean Air Board president.  “The public health studies supports strengthening the annual standard. Letting the public know where the air is dirty and dangerous is the first step to improving our health.”

For more info: <a href="http://www.epa.gov/air/particlepollution/2012/decfsstandards.pdf

Clean Air Board Community Meeting, June 2, 2011, 7 pm

“Reducing Diesel Particulate Emissions from Construction Projects”

CAB will look at successful projects which reduced particulate emissions from diesel engines at construction sites.

The presentation will be held at the Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013, on June 2, at 7 pm.   Join us for a discussion of this important topic.

PA Turnpike Opens No-Idle, Clean-Air Facility For Truckers at New Stanton Service Plaza June 4th

Pa. Turnpike Opens First No-Idle, Clean-Air Facility For Truckers at New Stanton Service Plaza Today

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Press Release

Truck Stop Electrification facility will help truckers comply with no-idling law.

Excerpt:

Truck Stop Electrification facility (Ohio Environmental Council)

NEW STANTON, PA (06/04/2010)(readMedia)– The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) had a ribbon cutting ceremony earlier today to mark the opening of a Truck Stop Electrification (TSE) facility at its New Stanton Service Plaza at milepost 77.6 off the westbound lanes of I-76 in Westmoreland County.

The TSE, developed by CabAire LLC, Enfield, Conn., is comprised of towers equipped with modules that fit into truck cab windows to provide heat, air conditioning, internet, TV and electrical power to trucks and other diesel-powered vehicles while the engine is shut off.

Cost to use a TSE module will be about the same as a gallon of diesel fuel per hour. CabAire has agreed to provide the service free of charge for 30-days, from June 4 to July 4.

“We are incredibly proud to have constructed this facility – presently the only one of its kind in the state – on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. “This TSE is designed to help reduce pollution and land-development impacts to the neighborhoods surrounding our travel plaza, and it’s just one of several steps we’re taking to provide a greener environment.”

More about how to reduce idling from the US Department of Energy Idle Reduction Portal.

CABBIE Awards 2008: CAB Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Susan Greenbaum

717- 245-2694

Greenbau@dickinson.edu

Clean Air Board and Dickinson College Award 2008 CABBIE’s

Over the past few years Carlisle area citizens have been concerned about the deterioration of air quality in Central Pennsylvania. In fact, the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania (CAB) was formed in fall 2005 after over 100 Cumberland County physicians signed and published an open letter informing the community of the growing danger of ozone and particulate pollution and the risks it poses to the pulmonary and cardiac health of our citizens. However, this was not the first time concern about air quality was an issue in Cumberland County.

In the early 1970s, Professor Emeritus Dr. Howard C. Long, Chairman of Dickinson College’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, noted that many people had become aware of deteriorating air quality due to growing industrialization and motor vehicle use. Dr. Long learned that public health agencies linked increases in emphysema to the intake of particulate matter into the lungs. He decided to study air quality in Carlisle by measuring the solid particulates found in the air.

In 1973 the Department of Physics and Astronomy purchased a nephelometer – a device that uses the scattering of light to measure the density of solid particles that are small enough to inhale. Dr. Long and Department Technician, Mr. John Steigleman, began monitoring the density of particulate matter with diameters of 10 millionths of a meter or less (PM10). They collected data at Dickinson College several times each day and night for seven years. The data collection by Mr. Steigleman and its analysis by Dr. Long provided our community with a valuable record of how PM10 varied by time of day and time of year as well as a picture of the level of PM10 and how it was changing throughout the mid-1970s.

In recognition of their work, Professor Long and Mr. Steigleman were honored at the recent CABBIE awards, held in Tome Hall on Dickinson College campus March 5, 2008. These awards, co-sponsored by the Dickinson Department of Physics and Astronomy and by the Clean Air Board of Central PA, stand for Clean Air Board Bold Innovators for the Environment. They are given annually to reward those who have made significant contributions to air quality in Central Pennsylvania. Professor Long and Mr. Steigleman were recognized for their contributions to initiate air quality research and data collection in the Carlisle area thirty-five years ago. Past CABBIE recipient Jensen Gelfond (Dickinson ’08) made the presentations.

As part of the awards ceremony Dr. Priscilla Laws, a former colleague of Dr. Long, discussed the research findings of the 1970’s project and how those findings help us understand the dependence of particulate matter on the time of day and time of year. She also compared the earlier PM10 levels recorded with the nephelometer to the PM2.5 levels recorded more recently by “Airestotle”.

“Airestotle” is the nickname of the new EBAM unit (an automated device that measures either PM10 or PM2.5) which monitors PM2.5 in the Carlisle area. This state-of-the-art portable EBAM unit was purchased during the past year by CAB, in conjunction with the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley. PM2.5 is the density of fine particulate matter having diameters of 2.5 millionths of a meter or less and is believed to be a major cause of the increase in respiratory diseases such as asthma and pneumonia that physicians have observed in this area.

New Diesel Vehicle Idling Restrictions: DEP Press Release

February 6, 2009:

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2/6/2009

CONTACT:
Teresa Candori
Phone: (717) 787-1323

NEW DIESEL VEHICLE IDLING RESTRICTIONS WILL KEEP AIR CLEANER, REDUCE FUEL CONSUMPTION

Most Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles Can Only Idle Engines for 5 Minutes per Hour

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians — particularly those vulnerable to air pollution such as children and the elderly — will breathe easier, thanks to a new measure taking effect today that limits engine idling by heavy-duty diesel vehicles.

Governor Edward G. Rendell signed the Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act (Act 124) on Oct. 9. The law restricts heavy-duty diesel vehicles from idling more than five minutes per hour. Truck and bus drivers often idle their engines during rest periods to heat or cool their sleeper compartment, to keep the engine warm during cold weather, and to provide electrical power for their appliances.

Acting Environmental Protection

Secretary John Hanger added that the new restrictions will save the owners of these vehicles billions of dollars a year while also reducing Pennsylvania’s dependence on foreign oil.

“Idling of these heavy-duty engines produces large quantities of dangerous air pollutants that can be particularly harmful to young children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis,” said Hanger.

“Across the nation, these vehicles consume 1 billion gallons of fuel annually by idling their engines. This new law will protect the health of our citizens, reduce our reliance on imported oil, and drive the adoption of new technologies to meet our nation’s transportation needs.”

Each year, heavy-duty trucks in Pennsylvania emit about 3,200 tons of nitrogen oxides, a pre-cursor of smog and ground-level ozone; 210,000 tons of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to climate change; and 65 tons of fine particulate matter by burning diesel fuel while idling. Act 124 applies to diesel-powered motor vehicles engaged in commerce with a gross weight of 10,001 pounds or more that are not specifically exempted. Most trucks and buses are subject to the act, though farm-related equipment and vehicles are exempt. Trucks with sleeper berths are exempted during times of low and high temperatures until May 1, 2010, providing a reasonable amount of time for truckers to make alternative arrangements for sleeping, such as using an electrified truck-stop parking space or buying equipment that provides power without idling.

“There are affordable alternatives to idling, and I encourage all vehicle operators to take advantage of them to help Pennsylvanians breather easier and to save themselves money, too,” Hanger said. “At current prices, drivers are spending $2.4 billion a year nationally on fuel just for idling. In May, when diesel prices hit record highs, that figure would have been almost $5 billion.”

The simplest way to reduce idling is to turn off the vehicle. Modern diesel engines do not require long warm-up or cool-down periods or constant idling in order to operate efficiently. The most common alternatives to idling are auxiliary power systems and stationary idle reduction technologies. Auxiliary power systems are devices installed on vehicles to provide electric power. Stationary idle reduction technology provides some type of plug-in system at locations where vehicles park.

The DEP’s Small Business Advantage Grant program has invested more than $1 million on top of the nearly $2 million truck owners and operators have spent to purchase 238 auxiliary power systems. For more information on this program, visit http://www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: SBAdvantage. Other investments by the commonwealth, in conjunction with those by private enterprises, have made 11 truckstop electrifications systems available across the state. For an online map of system locations, visit http://www.idleaire.com and click on “Locations.”

For more information on the Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Diesel Idling.

DEP to Fund Anti-Idling Law Education: DEP Press Release

March 13th, 2009: DEP Press Release

DEP to Fund Anti-Idling Law Education

Excerpt:

Environmental Protection acting Secretary John Hanger today awarded grants to three regional air quality organizations to help the trucking industry comply with Pennsylvania’s anti-idling law, which took effect on Feb. 6.

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