Applaud Mayor for Supporting Clean Air

Garbage Truck

Target: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Goal: Commend plan to cut emissions from municipal and private trash haulers

With concerns about asthma and other health effects of diesel fuel emissions mounting, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made clean air a priority by taking steps to modernize one of the city’s biggest emissions contributors. In an effort to meet tough emission control standards for diesel vehicles set by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2007, Mayor Bloomberg and his administration have called on private trash haulers to modernize their fleets by the year 2020. This is in addition to a law passed in September that requires no less than 90% of city trash haulers also meet those standards by 2017. These measures will significantly improve the air quality in New York City, as well as improve the safety and health of its residents.

As part of a larger plan to control air pollution, the new proposal would require about 8,300 private garbage collection trucks to be replaced completely by less-polluting models or refitted with engines that meet federal emissions requirements. With successful execution, this plan could reduce particulate matter emissions by 796 tons, the equivalent of taking 341,829 cars off of New York City roads each year from 2014 to 2030. Similarly, nitrogen oxides would be reduced by 12,054 tons, the same as removing 862,704 cars from the road each year until 2030. Both substances are found in diesel exhaust and are linked to respiratory and cardiovascular problems in addition to contributing to smog and global warming.

While the proposal to modernize private trash hauler fleets still needs the approval of City Council, the outlook is promising. Representatives from many companies have expressed support for the proposal and its cause of cleaner emissions.

With 2,000 municipal trucks already set to undergo modernization to meet federal emission standards, the proposal to impose the same standards on private trash haulers is a huge boost to creating cleaner air for New York City. Commend Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration for making this environmental and health concern a priority.


Dear Mayor Bloomberg,

Your administration’s recent proposal to cut emissions from private trash haulers in New York City is commendable. In addition to the law already passed imposing federal emission standards on municipal fleets, this proposal will substantially cut emissions of particulate matter and nitrous oxides by the year 2020.

The implications of this proposal are tremendous. Diesel fuel emissions are a cause of respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and also contribute to global warming. With successful implementation of this proposal, your administration could significantly improve the air quality of New York City, which will have both positive impacts on the environment and the health of your residents.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: jpotisch via Flickr

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