February 23, 2005
SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has started enforcing air quality regulations that reduce health-damaging smoke from diesel trash collection trucks.
"Garbage trucks contribute a significant amount of the particulate matter (PM) that fouls the air in our residential and business areas," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. "Because of this regulation more than one thousand tons of PM will not be released into our air over the next fifteen years," Witherspoon added.
The regulation requires waste collection companies and government agencies that operate their own waste collection fleets to phase in cleaner trucks from 2004 through 2010. By 2015, according to ARB's research, the solid waste collection vehicle rule will help reduce PM emissions from these trucks by as much as 85 percent from their 2000 levels. Research has shown that breathing particulate matter can cause premature death, lung diseases and cancer.
As a result of these reductions the ARB estimates that by the year 2020, 80 deaths related to PM will be prevented. Additionally by 2020, emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) will be reduced by 30,000 tons collectively. NOx contributes to ozone, a common constituent of urban smog.
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The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.