CLEAN AIR COUNCIL REPORT BACKS GOVERNOR'S CALL
FOR ACTION ON DIESEL POLLUTION
(04/84) TRENTON -- The New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that the
Clean Air Council has issued a report endorsing the Governor's
initiative to reduce fine particulate emissions from diesel
engines and other sources. The report indicates that the
health risks from particulate matter, otherwise known as
soot, are greater than first thought.
"We can no longer afford to disregard the health impacts
from the 250,000 diesel engines in this state," said
DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Under Governor
McGreevey's leadership, the Department is making strides
in reducing air pollution from stationary and mobile sources
by proposing tougher mercury emissions standards, reducing
pollution coming from out-of-state powerplants as well as
developing initiatives to address diesel emissions."
The Clean Air Council report states that only smoking and
obesity outrank particulate matter in the estimated number
of premature deaths caused every year. Asthma and emphysema
are exacerbated by particulate matter in the atmosphere.
Diesel-powered engines, such as those found in trucks and
buses, are responsible for a significant amount of the particulate
pollution in New Jersey, especially in areas of high traffic
"When we looked at the statistics, the Council was
alarmed by the human health impacts diesel emissions are
having on our citizens," said Jorge Berkowitz, Ph.D.,
Chair of the Council. "Clearly, controlling diesel
particles will benefit all residents, particularly those
who reside in highly trafficked portions of our State."
Among the many recommendations offered by the Council,
the report urges the State to require the use of low-sulfur
fuel for diesel-powered equipment and the retrofitting of
existing diesel engines with particulate controls. The Council
also recommends that the state launch an anti-idling campaign
for buses and diesel-powered vehicles. Greater enforcement
of idling regulations was encouraged and the Council advised
that local police should be involved in controlling unnecessary
The Council also called for further research into particulate
matter and its health effects and the continued exploration
of alternative fuels.
"There are more premature deaths from particulate
pollution than there are homicides or traffic fatalities
in the state," said Commissioner Campbell.
Consistent with the recommendations of the Council, the
Department is implementing outreach, education and enforcement
initiatives to address idling vehicles and working with
several companies to retrofit diesel equipment. DEP also
supports the goals and purposes of Senate Bill No. 1759
sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Assembly Bill No. 3182
by Assemblyman John McKeon, which addresses diesel retrofits
and fuels for on-road and off-road vehicles.
DEP's diesel initiative is one element of Governor McGreevey's
goal of reducing air pollution by at least 20 percent over
the next 10 years.
The Clean Air Council, created in 1954, is comprised of
representatives from public, private and non-profit groups
who serve in an advisory capacity to the DEP regarding air
To view the Council's report, visit DEP's website at: