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GASP Praises Allegheny County Council for Introduction of Clean Construction Legislation, Touts Air Quality Benefits

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) strongly supports Allegheny County Council for introducing long-sought clean construction legislation on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

“We commend Councilwoman Anita Prizio for her leadership on this issue and for both her and Councilwoman Olivia Bennett for their sponsoring this important legislation,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini said. “We know
that diesel particulate matter poses one of the greatest cancer risks from any toxic outdoor air pollutant and that black carbon found in diesel pollution is a potent global warming agent. Reducing diesel emissions from all sources must be a priority for our region.”

The county’s legislation is very similar to guidelines passed by the City of Pittsburgh in 2016. The proposed county legislation requires all county government construction projects costing $2.5 million or more to use diesel emission control strategies on construction vehicles, including the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The guidelines require the use of the best available control technology, such as a diesel particulate filter, on all on-road vehicles, like dump trucks,
and off-road equipment, such as backhoes and bulldozers, that are involved in the projects.

According to the National Emissions Inventory, diesel-powered construction and mining equipment emitted more than 130 tons of fine particulate matter in 2014 in Allegheny County. That amounts to approximately 27 percent of all fine particulate matter produced in Allegheny County in 2014 by all mobile diesel-powered sources and two-thirds of fine particulate matter produced by all mobile non-road diesel equipment.

Several other organizations and agencies have already adopted their own Clean Construction policies, including the Urban Redevelopment Authority and UPMC.

The legislation was referred to the Public Works committee.

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