Target: Dan Tangherlini, Head of the United States General Services Administration (GSA)
Goal: Reduce commercial truck pollution around the Peace Bridge to improve air quality for residents
Childhood asthma rates in the neighborhood near the Peace Bridge, which connects the United States to Canada, are nearly four times the national average. Federal officials at the General Services Administration (GSA) considered and quickly dismissed an idea to divert truck traffic another bridge to improve regional air quality. The high volume of commercial truck traffic crossing the United States/Canada border produces an enormous amount of diesel pollution.
Not only did federal officials quickly dismiss the air quality improvement plan, but they also did so without consulting any local or state officials. “We need to be given the time to ask whether any of these projects really make sense,” said Erin J. Heaney, executive director of the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. “Given what we just found out, we need more time for the community to weigh in.”
Sign the below petition to urge federal officials to consult with local and state leaders to find a solution to the hazardous air pollution around Peace Bridge. Diesel polluting vehicles must be diverted to other bridges to reduce the dangerous concentration of pollution in this area. New ramps must be built to reduce the amount of time that diesel trucks idle at the bridge, creating toxic fumes in the vicinity.
Dear Mr. Tangherlini,
The General Services Administration (GSA) was right in considering a potential solution to improving the diesel truck pollution around the Peace Bridge. However, these considerations were made too dismissively, and without the consultation of local and state officials who are well-versed in the environmental concerns.
Please work with the city of Buffalo, the state of New York, and the Canadian government to reduce the number of idling commercial trucks traveling across Peace Bridge. The rates of asthma are four times higher than the national average in this region. You must work with local officials to divert truck traffic to other bridges and build ramps that decrease the amount of idling time. Diesel fumes are contaminating the air quality of this region, and action must be taken to prevent this contamination immediately.
I understand that the any projects concerning the Peace Bridge are matters of sensitivity and security. However, city and state officials cannot be left out of the decision making process for issues as important as air quality.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Photo credit: Memtgs via Wikimedia Commons