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Look for Less Idling this School Year

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GASP has worked for years to reduce pollution from diesel vehicles. A recent Pittsburgh Regional Environmental Threats Analysis report on hazardous air pollutants puts diesel exhaust at the top of the concern list for cancer risk from inhaled air pollution. A similar report on particulate matter shows that vehicle miles traveled by diesel vehicles have risen since 2002 in every county in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley region.

Currently, GASP and other environmental groups are addressing illegal idling, with an emphasis on idling done by school buses. Children are particularly susceptible to diesel pollution for many reasons. They are more active and are outside more than adults, giving them more exposure. Being smaller makes them that much closer to the tailpipe, so they get more concentrated blasts. And much of the diesel pollution occurs when the students are on the bus, because the cabin traps emissions coming from the engine and holds them throughout the ride.

A 2014 survey of many local schools found illegal idling happening throughout Pittsburgh. The mandated “No Idling” signs were also absent at many locations. GASP worked with Pittsburgh Public Schools to ensure signs are available for all of their schools, and they should all be up by the 2014-2015 school year. GASP is also delivering signs to all parochial, charter, and private schools in the district. Please talk to your school personnel if you see idling for more than five minutes per 60 minute period (15 minutes if students are on board). Contact us as well if the problem persists!

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s no idling law and our other diesel initiatives, please visit our Diesel Campaign page.

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