50 Years of Air Pollution by Vehicles 53 000 Early Deaths Per Year in U S A Today

Dear Care For Crash Victims Community Members:

Vehicle Violence – Deaths By Air Pollution

A recent MIT study found that about 200,000 early deaths result each year from air pollution in the U.S.A. today.  53,000 early deaths per year due to vehicle emissions.

“Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health.

“The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, and found that such air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year. Emissions from road transportation are the most significant contributor, causing 53,000 premature deaths, followed closely by power generation, with 52,000….”

“Barrett says that a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause typically dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise might have….

“The greatest number of emissions-related premature deaths came from road transportation, with 53,000 early deaths per year attributed to exhaust from the tailpipes of cars and trucks.”   See  http://news.mit.edu/2013/study-air-pollution-causes-200000-early-deaths-each-year-in-the-us-0829

The 50 Year War for Healthy Clean Air

50 years ago I came to Washington to work on air pollution control in the Public Health Service (PHS).  In 1967, in the PHS, as a Management Intern, I had a 3 month assignment to help with the Third National Conference on Air Pollution.I was new to Washington ways and called my former Connecticut Congressman’s Office and asked if I could escort him through the exhibits.He said yes and when I arrived at his office he introduced me to a lobbyist from Hartford Electric Light and Power, and asked if it was OK to bring him along.  I said yes and we went to the Hotel.As we walked in the first exhibit was a map of the U.S. filled with little yellow lights all blinking at different rates.  He said what are these 3 blinking lights around Hartford?  I said each time a light blinked it represented hundreds of pounds of sulfur dioxide emitted.  He said what was the source?  I said power plants.Then we went into see an exhibit showing a brief film the agency had created.  Watch it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd6I36UQWccWhen we came out the lobbyist was nearly apoplectic.   He was pounding his fists on an imaginary desk saying:“Congressman!  Congressman!  This is downright communistic!  My tax dollars going to produce such propaganda! “The Congressman put his arm around the lobbyist and said: “Now, now, easy.  You don’t want to have a heart attack.”  Together, they left the exhibit hall.The Emission Testing ScandalIn late 1970, President Nixon reorganized the air pollution control program and other PHS programs into the EPA.  Nixon’s political move was to appear progressive while downgrading the mission of pollution control from protecting human health to protecting the environment.  The symbol of EPA, to this day, is a flower.  See https://www3.epa.gov/  And https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-history

Unbeknownst to me at the time, in April 1971, Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca met with Nixon in the White House and discussed changing test procedures for the measurement of tail pipe emissions.  Later in 1971, I blew the whistle on changes in test procedures and was fired from EPA under Ruckelshaus.  I was then stonewalled by EPA for documents on the test changes.  I subsequently sued the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for access to deliberations of the NAS Committee on Motor Vehicle Emissions that the Clean Air Act authorized to review EPA actions.  In 1975, Judge Sirica ruled that the NAS was not subject to the FOIA and FACA and the documents continue to be withheld from the public – to this day.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/1970-PolutionControlEfforts.php

Note:  Last year President Obama awarded Ruckelshaus the Medal of Freedom.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog/blog-medal/

Emissions Test Cheating Today
Today, Volkswagen has admitted to cheating for years on diesel emissions testing.  See  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/10/business/international/vw-criminal-charge-diesel.html?ref=international&_r=0
A Release by the Center for Auto Safety on seeking legal remedies is at https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog/blog-cassues/

As of today, on road emission tests of all vehicle engines – not just diesels – need to be investigated.  The collusion of the auto industry and government has gone on far too long to the detriment of Americans – past, present, and future.

The public has been breathing harmful pollution for decades with millions of Americans suffering and losing years of their lives.  We who are still living are also losing our planet.
Hope for Our Future Is Up To Us
In 1970, MIT students took the initiative to demonstrate how we could meet stringent air pollution emission standards.  And today California officials are setting goals.See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog/blog-climatechangeleadershipfromcaliforniaofficials/
Today citizens are organizing and need everyone’s support.
“John Olivieri, National Campaign Director for 21st Century Transportation at the United States Public Interest Research Group said, “Today, more than 80,000 Americans made their voice heard and demanded cleaner and healthier transportation options. This is an historic moment. We sincerely hope that the Department of Transportation will now take action to clean up our nation’s transportation system. The health of our citizens and the health of our planet are at stake.””  See http://uspirg.org/news/usp/80000-americans-mayors-clean-tech-groups-state-and-city-leaders-call-cleaner-transportation
If we don’t act, it won’t be just government by, and for the people that shall perish.
Lou Lombardo

Leave a Reply