June 1: Clean construction bill press conference

Please join Pittsburgh UNITED, GASP (the Group Against Smog and Pollution), the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action for a press conference about the Pittsburgh Clean Air, Clean Water bill that City Councilman Bill Peduto will introduce in City Council. This pro-environment legislation is part of the Pittsburgh UNITED Economic Development Reform campaign. Since last fall, the Pittsburgh UNITED coalition and its community allies have been working closely with Pittsburgh City Council to add increased accountability to publicly-subsidized economic development. The legislation will act on two fronts, reducing diesel emissions and mitigating stormwater runoff.

Reducing Diesel Emissions: Diesel emissions harm our health, our environment and our economy; publicly-funded development should be a partner in protecting our health and environment. Diesel soot cancer risk in Pittsburgh area is 408 times greater than EPA’s acceptable cancer level of 1 in a million. Pittsburgh area workers are projected to miss 13,558 days of work in 2010 because of unnecessary exposure to diesel fine particles, and kids’ emergency room visits for asthma-like symptoms 400% higher in Pittsburgh than other cities. Black carbon, emitted by diesels, is one of the largest contributing pollutants to global warming.

The Clean Air bill will require that contracts for publicly-funded development in the City of Pittsburgh must ensure that all diesel vehicles on site to have the Best Available Diesel Control Technology installed, and that ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is used by construction vehicles.

Mitigating Stormwater Run-off: During heavy rainstorms, stormwater runoff forces untreated sewage into our rivers; the water is unsafe to touch during nearly two-thirds of the boating season. Publicly-funded development should lead the way in innovative techniques to control and drastically reduce this problem. The current estimate for ALCOSAN’s portion of the EPA mandated repairs to its system is estimated to be from $3 billion to as much as $20 billion. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff washes vehicle exhaust products, oil, grease, gasoline, road deicers, and carcinogenic topping compounds for asphalt and concrete down our storm water sewers into our rivers -- from which most of us get our drinking water. The Clean Water bill will require developments receiving our tax dollars to drastically reduce their storm water runoff.

9:30 a.m. on the 5th floor of the City County building: 414 Grant St. downtown. You can find more information about the Clean Air, Clean Water legislation and a leaflet for the press conference here.

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