Pittsburgh's Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, wrapped up Earth Week today announcing that ten city waste haulers will go green with the pilot-installation of diesel particulate filters, thanks to a partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local clean air and water leaders.

The advanced emission reduction technology, funded by a $127,000 EPA grant and managed in part by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA), will reduce toxic particulate matter in each waste hauler by more than 85 percent.

"Through the use of bio-diesel fuel and now diesel particulate filters, we are aggressively reducing the city's carbon foot print," Mayor Ravenstahl said. "With these cutting-edge green technologies, we are improving the quality of life for the people of Pittsburgh."

Currently, bio-diesel makes up more than 30 percent of Pittsburgh's purchased diesel fuel.

A dynamic coalition led by the Mayor, the EPA, MARAMA and the Allegheny County Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution (headed by the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and Clean Water Action (CWA) are collaborating to make our region cleaner and to educate citizens of the harmful effects of air pollution.

"Federal emissions standards have made brand new diesel vehicles cleaner than ever before, but we the reality is we still have older, dirtier vehicles on the road," said Ashley Deemer, CWA executive director. "With this technology, workers and residents will no longer be harmed by the black smoke billowing from waste hauler tailpipes."

Last May, the American Lung Association ranked Pittsburgh second to Los Angeles as the worst region for particulate pollution. This project will assist the region in reaching the EPA's fine particulate standards.

"Dangerous particulate emissions in diesel exhaust pose a serious health threat to local residents," said Rachel Filippini, GASP executive director. "Scores of medical studies show that microscopic particles and toxins in diesel exhaust are associated with cardiovascular death, lung cancer, and the triggering of asthma attacks -- especially in children, the elderly and people who live and work near buses, trucks and other diesel equipment."