In June 2010, GASP in coalition with a variety of environmental, health, community, and labor organizations worked with Pittsburgh City Council to introduce Clean Construction legislation. The bill, 2010-0568, finally passed in July 2011, thanks to the hard work of all involved. This ordinance ensures that construction in Pittsburgh will get progressively cleaner. Please read the bill by clicking here. Council also passed a resolution, 2011-1837, which directs the City to create a 10-year policy to manage the City’s conversion of their own diesel vehicles to cleaner ones.
Why focus on reducing emissions from construction equipment? The construction industry uses more diesel engines than any other sector, and according to EPA, it generates roughly 32% of all land-based non-road oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions and more than 37% of land-based particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in size (PM10).
The clean construction legislation works to minimize the health risks from diesel particulate emissions by requiring City construction projects or publicly-subsidized development projects in the City to use ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in diesel-powered on-road and off-road vehicles and equipment on the project site. In addition, developers would have to use a portion of their subsidy to purchase the best available retrofit technology for their equipment or purchase new, cleaner vehicles.