Atlanta, Ga. (March 15, 2011) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just released an updated National Air Toxics Assessment of diesel exhaust concentrations. In the assessment, EPA concludes, “diesel exhaust is among the substances that may pose the greatest risk to the U.S. population.” Using EPA’s updated assessment and independent analysis on cancer risk, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s (SACE) diesel clean up campaign partner the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) has also quantified the cancer risk from diesel exhaust. CATF found that the nationwide average lifetime cancer risk posed by diesel exhaust is 159 times greater than EPA’s “acceptable” level of one-cancer-in-a-million, and over three times greater than the combined risk of all air toxics tracked by EPA.
Given the risk of diesel exhaust as evidenced by these findings, SACE supports immediate reductions in diesel emissions. “We call on Congress to make diesel emissions reduction a national priority in order to protect public health and our environment,” said SACE Clean Diesel Program Director Anne Blair. “Cost-effective technology is widely available and highly capable of achieving significant reductions in emissions from older diesel engines. Congress should act now by funding the renewed, bipartisan, highly-effective Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and supporting a Clean Construction Equipment provision in the upcoming Transportation Bill. DERA and the Clean Construction Equipment provision will both result in significant reductions of these toxic emissions and protect our nation’s air quality and public health.” # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. www.cleanenergy.org Clean Air Task Force is a non-profit environmental organization with offices throughout the United States and in China that works to protect the earth’s atmosphere by improving air quality and reducing global climate change through scientific research, public advocacy, technological innovation and private sector collaboration. www.catf.us.