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Diesel Campaign

Diesel exhaust poses a serious risk to Allegheny County residents’ health. Diesel exhaust causes asthma attacks and asthma onset, coughing and breathing difficulty, chronic bronchitis, decreased lung function, heart attacks, stroke, and even premature death. Diesel exhaust was recently pinpointed as the leading inhalation cancer risk in Pittsburgh. Children, the elderly, and people with existing respiratory ailments are especially sensitive to diesel pollution.

GASP and partners work to reduce toxic diesel pollution from all types of diesel vehicles including school and transit buses, garbage trucks, construction vehicles, locomotives, and marine vessels operating in Allegheny County.

GASP supports electrification of bus fleets. This 2018 report from U.S. Pirg Education Fund, Frontier Group, and Environment America details the health benefits and cost savings that come with switching a fleet from diesel to electric.

In 2017, in collaboration with the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, GASP launched “No Idling! Young Lungs at Work.” This project, made possible with a grant from The Grable Foundation, increases awareness among Allegheny County childcare providers about air pollution’s negative impact on children’s health and empowers them to reduce pollution from idling cars by giving them tools to discourage this polluting behavior on their property.

While Pennsylvania law limits the idling of heavy-duty diesel vehicles, such as school and transit buses and delivery trucks, there are no laws to prohibit the idling of gasoline or diesel powered cars. The pollutants spewing from idling cars have been linked to serious illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer.

We have found that idling is common at childcare centers. An idling car wastes fuel (and thus money), and vehicle emissions damage human health and the environment. To discourage the unnecessary idling of personal vehicles near your childcare center, we invite you to accept a free “No Idling! Young Lungs at Work” sign and other materials. We will deliver weather-resistant 12” X 18” sign, along with a post and base, and materials for parents and staff. The sign looks like this:


You can also take a look at our No Idling Pledge card and a Myth Vs. Fact handout.

We still have some materials left! To get your sign and materials, please email Thank you!



GASP advocates to reduce diesel exhaust in our community in many other ways:

  • Retrofitting existing vehicles with new pollution controls, such as diesel particulate filters and diesel oxidation catalysts
  • Requiring ultra low sulfur diesel fuel or cleaner alternative fuels
  • Installing closed crankcase ventilation systems, especially for school and transit buses
  • Rebuilding or replacing older engines in existing vehicles
  • Truck stop electrification programs
  • Requiring cleanup of trucks and construction equipment used in public works projects

Learn more about the ways GASP works to reduce this dangerous pollutant:

Allegheny County’s Off-Road/Construction Idling Regulation
City of Pittsburgh Waste Haulers
Clean Construction Legislation
Cleaning up school buses
Pennsylvania’s Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Idling Act
River vessels

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