Urban Air Initiative Partners in Clean Fuels Omaha Campaign
(Omaha, NE, May 1, 2015) The Urban Air Initiative joined with a broad cross section of public and private interest groups supporting the call for more aggressive regional pollution control measures in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. Working together as Clean Fuels Omaha, the campaign was launched to support measures outlined this week by the Metropolitan Area Planing Agency (MAPA).
The Metropolitan Area Planning Agency is a coordinating organization for government officials of the region to address a range of issues. One of the programs of MAPA is the Little Steps-Big Impact Air Quality Initiative which is an annual campaign to educate the public on the impacts of ground level ozone on air quality, and the steps that can be taken to reduce emissions.
“MAPA has recognized that transportation fuels are a major source of our pollution problems,” said Dave VanderGriend, President of the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) and a partner in the Clean Fuels Omaha Campaign. “The Small Steps program is just that– small steps that can have a big impact. Choosing alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel is something each of us can do to help clean the air and protect public health.”
Gasoline and diesel produce particulates that are classified as ozone precursors. In addition, these particulates are carriers of airborne toxics that are linked to a wide range of health concerns ranging from asthma to autism. Just this week the American Lung Association released its annual state of the Air Report and concluded that more than 138 million people in the US are living in areas classified as unhealthy or as having poor air quality.
“By increasing the use of biodiesel in buses and industrial applications, and filling up with E10, E15, and for flex fuel vehicles, even higher blends like E30, we can make a difference, said VanderGriend”. He also detailed some of the sanctions that come with an ozone non attainment classification, such as a limit on business development and potential driving restrictions.
Partners in the campaign to date include the Nebraska Ethanol Board, the Nebraska Corn Board, the Nebraska Ethanol Industry Coalition, the Nebraska Soybean Growers, the Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and the Urban Air Initiative.