As part of a national campaign funded by Clean Air Task Force, Clean Air Carolina represents North Carolina in reducing harmful diesel pollution emitted from trucks, buses and construction equipment. A major campaign goal this year is to secure funding to retrofit diesel equipment used on local, state and federal construction projects so that taxpayer money is not used to pollute the air.
In June, Clean Air Carolina Director June Blotnick, and Program Director for the NC Clean Diesel Campaign Phil Rossi, met with NC Congressional representatives and staff members to advocate for clean construction provisions in the new transportation bill, Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009. Federal clean construction provisions would require the use of 2007 diesel-engine equipment on government funded construction projects or if older equipment is used it must be retrofitted with pollution control devices that meet the EPA’s 2007 standard. The funding required to retrofit our country’s dirtiest construction equipment would cost less than 1% of the total bill. One percent is not too much to pay for federal projects which will have a major impact on our nation’s air quality. Diesel engines from construction vehicles and other equipment are the second largest source of diesel pollution in the country. According to the EPA, 37% of land-based particulate matter (PM) pollution comes from construction equipment.
Our national clean diesel partnership successfully secured 52 signatures from House Representatives on a letter that calls for clean construction policies for federally funded construction projects. NC Rep. Mel Watt realizes the impact that diesel pollution has on our health, environment, and economic development, and he signed-on to this letter. Please thank Rep. Mel Watt for joining our efforts to clean up dirty diesel construction equipment: 1230 W. Morehead St., Suite 306, Charlotte, NC 28208 or http://watt.house.gov.