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Smoking trucks don’t belong on our streets

Smoking diesel trucks like this should be prohibited from operating. Not only do they represent a hazard to human and environmental health, but they obviously create a visibility problem for the vehicles traveling behind and beside them.

Diesel particulate matter (PM), in part due to its ability to adsorb toxic gases and metals, is listed by EPA as a motor vehicle air toxic. Diesel PM, especially particles of 2.5 microns or smaller, has been linked to such health problems as asthma attacks and possible asthma onset, coughing and breathing difficulty, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Children, the elderly, and people with existing respiratory ailments are especially sensitive to particulate matter.

Since diesel vehicles aren’t required to undergo regular emissions testing in Pennsylvania , this smoker can continue to drive through our neighborhoods belching all the while. Our advice? See if you can find a company name, phone number, license plate, or vehicle number and call the company to tell them this vehicle should be taken off the road until it can be cleaned up. If you can safely take a photo, even better.

The good news is that diesel vehicles can be cleaned up by employing emission reduction technology like diesel particulate filters. The City of Pittsburgh and W.L. Roenigk Transportation are just two examples of local fleet owners/operators who have taken steps to reduce their fleets’ emissions.

Soon, Pittsburgh City Council will vote on clean construction legislation that will require contractors to clean up some portion of their construction equipment before beginning work on a large publicly subsidized development project in Pittsburgh.

You should also know that on-road diesel vehicles are not permitted to idle for more than five minutes (some exemptions apply). If you see someone violating Pennsylvania’s diesel idling law contact your local police or the PA Department of Environmental Protection. Learn more here. In addition, Allegheny County has its own off-road construction idling regulation. You can contact the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-2243 if you see construction vehicles idling in the county or otherwise have an air quality complaint.

Learn more about our diesel campaign and what you can do to help.

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