Council OKs bill to cut diesel vehicle emissions
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Pittsburgh City Council gave final approval Tuesday to what supporters called the city's first clean-air bill since the era of late Mayor David Lawrence in the 1940s and '50s.
The bill requires contractors at city-subsidized developments to install pollution-control equipment on all on-road diesel vehicles by Jan. 1, 2012, and on off-road diesel vehicles by Jan. 1, 2013. The requirement applies to projects of $2.5 million or more that involve at least $250,000 in city subsidies and start after Sept. 1.
The legislation was supported by a coalition of city officials, unions, environmentalists and community groups. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office said it was reviewing the bill and didn't know whether the mayor would sign it.
Councilman Bill Peduto, the bill's sponsor, and other supporters said public money shouldn't be spent on projects that generate enough pollution to endanger public health.
Supporters said the bill wouldn't cure the city's chronic problems with air pollution but would be a step in the right direction.
Council approved the bill by an 8-0 vote. Councilman Ricky Burgess was absent Tuesday but voted for the bill during the initial vote last week, even though he said it would have a minimal impact on air standards and could discourage investment in troubled neighborhoods.
Council also gave final approval to a second bill that requires the city to install pollution-control devices on all of its diesel vehicles within 10 years.
First Published July 13, 2011 12:00 am