Stopping diesel air pollution, one bill at a time

July 23, 2008

Today, REEP youth joined forces with the Spanish American Union in Springfield, Chelsea Green Space and the Massachusetts Diesel Pollution Solution Coalition for a diesel lobby day. We handed out information packets and talked to receptionists, aides and state representatives, asking for support of the diesel pollution prevention amendment to the Environmental Bond Bill, otherwise known as the Diesel Bill. The bill could come to a vote as soon as this evening.

Diesel pollution contains damaging particulate matter that can be absorbed by your body

The amendment, sponsored by Representative Coakley-Rivera, would require all state contracted heavy duty and garbage/recycling vehicles that run on diesel to install the best available retrofit technology over the next three years. This technology could reduce air pollution up to 90 percent. The bill would also establish a Diesel Emissions Reduction Funding Program to help fund the installation of retrofit technology in diesel-powered fleets.

If this bill passes, it will be another victory in the continuing fight for environmental justice. Lower income communities of color such as Chelsea and Roxbury are disproportionately impacted by diesel pollution, which contributes to widespread health issues like asthma.

If the bill does not come up for vote today, you can help by calling your state representative. Ask for their support of the Diesel Bill to ensure clean and healthy communities for all.