How do we get clean air from the VW dirty diesel settlement? CAB discusses options

The Volkswagen cheating scandal was in the news last year. Now VW has agreed to put $14.7 billion into a settlement fund after it admitted to installing software that allowed 475,000 U.S. vehicles to emit up to 40 times legally allowable emissions. You have a say about how this trust money will be spent to improve air quality.  Join us on November 3, 7 pm,  in Carlisle to discuss the options.

Clean Air Board community meeting – Nov. 3, 7 pm, Second Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, PA 17013

EPA and DOT announce new truck standards

EPA and DOT Finalize Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Heavy-Duty Trucks

Truck on a road
The final standards are cost effective for consumers and businesses.

EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly finalized standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles that will improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution, while bolstering energy security and spurring manufacturing innovation. The final phase two standards were called for by President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, and respond to the President’s directive in early 2014 to develop new standards that run into the next decade.

The final standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons, save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion, and reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program. Read more about the new standards.

Read a joint blog post by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx on how these standards are helping to address climate change.

The New York Times reports on air pollution in major cities

A review of air pollution levels in the world’s largest cities.
http://nyti.ms/1CoXYdZ

Pollution Around the World: A Matter of Choices
Europe’s level of pollution may surprise some people, but it all comes down to a society’s priorities.

State of the Air – 2014

The American Lung Association has released its State of the Air report for 2014. To see the full report, go to http://www.stateoftheair.org/  Enter the zip code for your area for fine particulate measurements.  Cumberland Co. does not have an ozone monitor, so you will have to rely on the data from Dauphin Co.

The Job-Creating Mercury Rule

New York Times – Published: February 22, 2012

After 20 years of delay and litigation by polluters, the Obama administration approved in December one of the most important rules in the history of the Clean Air Act. It will require power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants by more than 90 percent in the next five years and is expected to prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths annually from asthma, other respiratory diseases and heart attacks.  More …

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/opinion/the-job-creating-mercury-rule.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

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.

Particulate Air Pollution Affects Heart, Research Finds: Science Daily

Particulate Air Pollution Affects Heart, Research Finds

ScienceDaily (May 20, 2010) — Breathing polluted air increases stress on the heart’s regulation capacity, up to six hours after inhalation of combustion-related small particles called PM2.5, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Stress on the heart from exposure to high levels of PM2.5 may contribute to cardiovascular disease, said Duanping Liao, professor of public health sciences.

The body’s ability to properly regulate heartbeat so the heart can pump the appropriate amounts of blood into the circulation system relies on the stability of the heart’s electrical activity, called electrophysiology.

“Air pollution is associated with cardiopulmonary mortality and morbidity, and it is generally accepted that impaired heart electrophysiology is one of the underlying mechanisms,” said Fan He, master’s program graduate, Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine. “This impairment is exhibited through fluctuations in the heart rate from beat to beat over an established period of time, known as heart rate variability. It is also exhibited through a longer period for the electric activity to return to the baseline, known as ventricular repolarization.

“The time course, how long it would take from exposure to cardiac response, has not been systematically investigated,” said He. “We conducted this study to investigate the relationship between particle matter and heart electrophysiology impairment, especially the time course.”

The researchers published their results in recent issues of the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology and in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Liao’s team of researchers studied 106 people from central Pennsylvania, mostly in the Harrisburg metropolitan area. Nonsmokers over the age of 45 without severe cardiac problems wore air-quality and heart-rate monitors for 24 hours. The devices recorded data in one-minute intervals.

Results indicate that heart electrophysiology was affected up to six hours after elevated PM2.5 exposure. These adverse effects may trigger the onset of acute cardiac events and over time may result in increased risk of chronic heart disease.

PM2.5 refers to particles up to 2.5 micrometers in size. Their primary sources are diesel engine and coal combustion outdoors; and oil, gas or wood combustion for cooking and heating indoors. PM2.5 levels are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.