Defending the Clean Air Act

Recent changes at the Environmental Protection Agency have threatened to undo years of progress cleaning our air.  Find out what is going on. Learn which clean air programs are under attack and what we can do about it.  Join members of the clean air community at CAB’s community meeting, Sept 7, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.

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CAB Comments on VW mitigation trust

July 17, 2017 – The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania recently submitted comments to the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the draft plan for Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement (settlement) with Volkswagen.   We asked that DEP focus on pollution reduction projects located in areas with high population density and high traffic density.  Areas of high population density (such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) and high traffic density (such as the I-95 corridor, the I-81 corridor, and major ports) are often the areas with the poorest air quality.  We believe that carefully selected projects in these areas will result in much needed health benefits for residents of these areas.  To read the full text of the comments, go to CAB Final Comments

Air Quality Action Day – Thursday

DEP has declared an Air Quality Action Day for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Thursday, Jun 22
Forecast
Thursday, Jun 22: 102 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
55 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone on Thursday, June 22, for the 5-county Philadelphia area (encompassing the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia) and the Susquehanna Valley area (Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Cumberland, and York counties).

Strong sunshine, light winds, and temperatures in the high 80s to near 90 degrees F are expected to cause ozone levels to rise into the Code ORANGE level.

Elevated ozone levels are expected to last only one day. More clouds will move in on Friday, with a cold front coming in from the Great Lakes as well as the remnants of Cindy coming northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. The clouds and rain will act to bring ozone back down to low levels.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

Here are some Air Quality Action Day tips you can follow to help reduce pollution:

Days when ozone levels are expected to be high:

* Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
* Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
* Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
* Combine errands and reduce trips.
* Limit engine idling.
* Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

Source: http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21229&typeid=1

Provide Input on How to Reduce Pollution

Clean Air Board community meeting, June 1, 7 pm.  Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013

The Clean Air Board has been closely following the lawsuit between the federal government and the Volkswagen corporation over fraudulent actions to disguise the fact that it was not complying with diesel engine emission standards.  The lawsuit has ended in a settlement, whereby Volkswagen agreed to pay states to conduct programs to reduce air pollution caused by its products.

On May 19, 2017, Governor Wolf announced that he was seeking ideas on how to spend $118 million from the Volkswagen settlement to pay for projects to reduce air pollution in Pennsylvania. Settlement funds can be used to pay for ten types of vehicle upgrade and infrastructure projects, including converting older diesel vehicles and equipment to cleaner burning fuels, and electric vehicle infrastructure.  On May 20, the Department of Environmental Protection published a  Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan Relating to the Volkswagen Settlement; Listening Sessions and Solicitation of Public Input

The list of projects that are eligible for funding:

  1. Class 8 Local Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks
  2. Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus
  3. Railroad Freight Switcher Locomotives
  4. Ferries/Tugs
  5. Ocean Going Vessels Shorepower
  6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks
  7. Airport Ground Support Equipment
  8. Forklifts
  9. Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
  10. Matching funds for projects eligible under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act

The Clean Air Board will be holding a discussion session at its community meeting on June 1, 2017, at 7 pm on your ideas on how to reduce pollution under the settlement.

Citizens can comment on a draft plan to allocate money to pollution control projects until July 5, 2017.   For additional information, go to: http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21203&typeid=1

Clean Air Board meeting May 4

Join us at the Clean Air Board community meeting on May 4 at 6:30 pm.  We will hear Dr. Craig Jurgensen’s report on the Environmental Neurotoxicology Research Forum recently hosted by the PennState College of Medicine.  We are meeting at the Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA

Preserving Cumberland County’s Rural Landscape and Natural Resources

The Cumberland Conservation Collaborative (CCC) will host its first community forum at the Penn Township Volunteer Fire Department’s Social Hall from 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 11. The forum, entitled “Preserving Cumberland County’s Rural Landscape & Natural Resources,”

The forum will be divided into two segments. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., attendees can enjoy light refreshments while looking over displays set up by the CCC’s member organizations.  The Clean Air Board, the Yellow Breeches Watershed Association, the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club and other organizations will have table displays that explain who they are and what they do. If attendees are interested in learning more or volunteering, each table will also have a sign-up sheet. A panel discussion, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will feature four panelists whose combined experience covers government, nonprofit and business interest in conservation and environmental issues. It will include the following panelists:

  • Troy Truax, an engineer with Michael Baker International Inc., is the planning officials development officer for the American Planning Association, Pennsylvania chapter, as well as chairman of South Middleton’s planning commission.
  • Bill Chain is the former vice president of the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, a former agricultural educator with Future Farmers of America and the senior agriculture program manager for The Chesapeake Bay Foundation-PA.
  • Andy Williford is the vice president of human resources for Volvo Construction Equipment Operations Americas. Mr. Williford has a degree in public management as well as certificates in human resources.
  • Jonathan Pinkerton is vice president of Susquehanna Heritage, which seeks to preserve and promote the history and well being of the Susquehanna River. Pinkerton is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

The forum will be moderated by Shippensburg geography professor Dr. George Pomeroy. The form will be held at Penn Township Fire Hall is located at 1750 Pine Road, Newville PA 17241

Controlling Methane Leaks from Gas Operations

We have an opportunity to tell DEP that we want them to stop leaks from gas well operations.  DEP wants to hear from you by June 5. Come to the Clean Air Board meeting and learn what proposals are on the table and how to file your comments. The Clean Air Board will meet on Thursday, April 6 at 7 pm, at 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle.