• Please join us for the CAB Community Meeting, usually held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00PM. Please check Posts for speaker information, time, and location.

    Community meetings are generally held at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA

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DEP Issues a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day Forecast for Southcentral Counties for June 16-18, 2018

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone on June 16, 2018 for the Pittsburgh region (encompassing Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland counties). A Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone is also forecast on June 17 and 18 for the Pittsburgh region, southcentral counties (Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties) and the Lehigh Valley (Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties).

Forecast
Sunday, Jun 17: 115 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
62 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Monday, Jun 18: 106 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
66 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Tuesday, Jun 19: 92 AQI Moderate Ozone
68 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

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.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standardized air quality index uses colors to report daily air quality. Green signifies good; yellow means moderate; orange represents unhealthy pollution levels for sensitive people; and red warns of unhealthy pollution levels for all.

To help keep the air healthy, residents and business are encouraged to voluntarily restrict certain pollution-producing activities by:
•    Refueling cars and trucks after dusk
•    Setting air conditioner thermostats to a higher temperature
•    Carpooling or using public transportation; and
•    Combining errands to reduce trips.

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The Sentinel: Clean Air Board’s fight to clear the air in Carlisle

June 1, 2018, Joe Cress The Sentinel

Sometimes the proudest achievement is the hardest one to measure in terms of its impact down the road.Such is the case with the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania and the lobbying effort it led a decade ago to implement anti-idling legislation.

That legislation put into place time limits on idling in the hope the new restrictions could reduce fine particulate emissions from diesel engine exhausts.  Read more ….

Governor Wolf Announces $118 Million Volkswagen Settlement to Fund New Air Pollution Reduction Program

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced the roll out of new grant and rebate programs to improve air quality in Pennsylvania funded by the $118 million settlement with Volkswagen Group of America, Pennsylvania’s share of the settlement for allegations of cheating on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions tests.

The new initiative, Driving PA Forward, is aimed at permanently reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions statewide by as much as 27,700 tons overall by accelerating the replacement of older, polluting diesel engines with cleaner technologies.
Emissions from diesel engines in trucks, buses, forklifts, and other transportation equipment account for over 25 percent of the NOx emissions in Pennsylvania. These emissions contribute to ground-level ozone, leading to poorer air quality and health impacts, especially for children and the elderly.”

Diesel emissions also include fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), which can lead to health problems such as asthma and worsen medical issues such as heart and lung disease and emphysema.
“Reducing smog and particle pollution is essential to maintaining healthy communities,” said Department of Health Secretary Rachel Levine. “More than 380,000 children in Pennsylvania have asthma – something that is exacerbated by air pollution from diesel emissions. These grants and rebates will cut down on those emissions and help everyone breathe a little easier.”

Eight grant and rebate programs will be available over the next five years, with as much as $39 million available for disbursement in year one. Programs will be rolled out throughout 2018.

Smog Alerts Coming

Summer will soon be here and that can mean high levels of air pollutants in our air, specifically ozone and small particles, commonly known as smog.

Meteorologists declare “Air Quality Action” days when they project that weather conditions are conducive for unhealthy air pollution. In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called six action days for the Susquehanna Valley.

We should heed those warnings. Recent scientific studies conclude that short-term exposure to unhealthy air pollution can have significant adverse effects on pregnant women, children, the elderly, and even the general population–especially those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Short term symptoms resulting from breathing high levels of ozone and fine particulate are chest pain, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion. These pollutants also aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and asthma—and can increase risks of stroke. Children, senior citizens, and those with asthma or other respiratory problems are urged to limit outdoor activities when an action day is predicted.

Air Quality Action days are often declared when there is little wind and when the amount of ozone or particles in stagnant air could exceed federal health standards. The DEP monitors local and regional air quality. Local television and radio stations alert the public when an Air Quality Action day is predicted. Check your newspaper’s websites as well. The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania also monitors pollution levels and posts notices at this website when DEP declares an Air Quality Action day.  Stay informed!

No CAB meeting on Jan. 4, 2018

There will be no Clean Air Board meeting on Jan. 4.   CAB’s next meeting will be Feb. 1.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a new study on deaths associated with air pollution.   The New York Times reported on this study.

“The researchers found that for each day-to-day increase of 10 micrograms per square meter in fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), the small particles of soot that easily enter the lungs and bloodstream, there was a 1.05 percent increase in deaths. For each 10 parts per billion increase in ozone, a main component of smog, there was a 0.51 percent increase.”

Read more …

 

 

EPA proposes to exempt certain glider trucks from emissions standards

In November 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a rule to repeal tighter emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks with older engines.  The regulation is aimed at controlling soot and other pollutants.

The current rule applies emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks to new truck components called gliders and trailers. A glider, or body, is the front of a truck, including the cab, which fits over the engine.  Under EPA’s new proposal, companies would be allowed to install an outdated engine into a new truck body and avoid regulations that would apply to an entirely new truck.

The Washington Post reports that executives from three major heavy-truck and engine manufacturers — Volvo Group North America, Cummins and Navistar — wrote Pruitt urging him not to reopen the rule. It noted that the three companies were joining with the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association, the American Trucking Associations and the Truck Rental and Leasing Association in “voicing their concerns” about the move.

Glen Kedzie, vice president and energy and environmental counsel for American Trucking Associations, said at an EPA hearing that by EPA’s own admission, glider vehicles may account for as much as 33% of total NOx emissions from all heavy-duty on-highway vehicles by 2025 if left unchecked.

ATA opposes a repeal of the glider provision, Kedzie said.

“It is well-known that gliders are purchased to save money, avoid maintenance costs and weight penalties, skirt federal excise tax payments, elude the use of engine technologies that virtually eliminate NOx and PM emissions, and to avoid the installation of safety equipment in pre-2000 vehicles under the electronic logging device rule which goes into effect Dec. 18,” Kedzie told EPA officials.

The full proposal can be found in the Federal Register.

Comments must be submitted Jan. 5, 2008 and may be submitted by clicking the submit a formal comment tab on the Federal Register page.

 

CAB’s Year in Review

Join Clean Air Board members as we look back at highlights of 2017.   On Dec. 7, we will go over past events, new scientific findings, and insights from our work in the community.

Some of the questions asked and answered this past year:

Are bees allergic to air pollution?

Do trees remove pollutants?

Does air pollution affect brain activity?

Where do we rank nationally among clean air metro areas?

How can we use the VW penalty fund to reduce diesel pollution?

What will rural Cumberland County look like in the future?

How will climate change affect our air?

Will the Clean Air Act or a Climate bill save us?

Meet with us on Dec. 7, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.  Bring your questions and curiosity.  Light refreshments will be served.