• 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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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.

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EPA Strengthens Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide for First Time in 35 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2010

EPA Strengthens Air Quality Standard for Nitrogen Dioxide

First new NO2 standard in 35 years will improve air quality for millions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a new national air quality standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). This new one-hour standard will protect millions of Americans from peak short-term exposures, which primarily occur near major roads. Short-term exposures to NO2 have been linked to impaired lung function and increased respiratory infections, especially in people with asthma.

“This new one-hour standard is designed to protect the air we breathe and reduce health threats for millions of Americans.  For the first time ever, we are working to prevent short-term exposures in high risk NO2 zones like urban communities and areas near roadways,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Improving air quality is a top priority for this EPA.  We’re moving into the clean, sustainable economy of the 21st century, defined by expanded innovation, stronger pollution standards and healthier communities.”

The agency set the new one-hour standard for NO2 at a level of 100 parts per billion (ppb). EPA also is retaining the existing annual average standard of 53 ppb. NO2 is formed from vehicle, power plant and other industrial emissions, and contributes to the formation of fine particle pollution and smog. Earlier this month, EPA proposed to tighten the nation’s smog standards to protect the health of all Americans, especially children.

EPA is establishing new monitoring requirements in urban areas that will measure NO2 levels around major roads and across the community. Monitors must be located near roadways in cities with at least 500,000 residents. Larger cities and areas with major roadways will have additional monitors. Community-wide monitoring will continue in cities with at least 1 million residents.

Working with the states, EPA will site at least 40 monitors in locations to help protect communities that are susceptible and vulnerable to elevated levels of NO2.

The new standard will help protect Americans from NO2 exposures linked to respiratory illnesses that lead to emergency room visits and hospital admissions, particularly in at-risk populations such as children, the elderly, and asthmatics.

EPA expects to identify or designate areas not meeting the new standard, based on the existing community-wide monitoring network, by January 2012.  New monitors must begin operating no later than January 1, 2013.   When three years of air quality data are available from the new monitoring network, EPA intends to redesignate areas as appropriate.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides

CONTACT:
Cathy Milbourn
milbourn.cathy@epa.gov
202-564-7849
202-564-4355