Partnership formed to fight diesel fumes

The U.S. EPA this week announced the formation of a partnership to undertake voluntary, cooperative measures to reduce the impact of diesel fumes on Western states. (Diesel fumes, for those of you tuning in late, kill people. Lots of people.) Most of the money funding the measures will come from the federal government; the EPA hopes to secure $100 million over five years. The partnership, which will involve some 400 federal agencies, environmental organizations, and private business groups, will target the largest sources of diesel fumes: long-haul trucks, cargo and cruise ships, locomotives, and heavy farm and construction equipment. The measures are varied, from having Princess cruise ships plug into the Seattle electricity grid rather than idle when at port to replacing diesel locomotives in the San Joaquin Valley. The EPA projects that, when fully funded, the partnership will collectively remove 8,000 tons of particulate pollutants from the air and save $2 billion in associated health costs. Enviro groups and health agencies, not surprisingly, welcomed the news but said far more was necessary to adequately address the problem.