The American Lung Association’s recently released “State of the Air” report indicates that South Carolina has several areas with poor air quality including high concentrations of particle pollution. American Lung Association spokesperson Janice Nolan says the A-L-A is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to take strong steps to clean up some of the coal fire power plants that permeate several areas of the country including the Southeast. Nolen says fumes from diesel engines are also a problem. Nolen says many citizens don’t realize how much the exhaust fumes from ocean going vessels adds to the air pollution problem.”Some of those big ships are huge sources of pollution, in fact problems from those ships can be found all the way across the 48 states including as far away as North Dakota. So they are big sources of air pollution especially in an area that has as much coast line as South Carolina does.”
Nolen says the EPA has recently followed up on an American Lung Association request to ask for authority to take steps to clean up the emissions of big ocean going vessels that travel along the country’s coast lines.
Nolen says older diesel trucks that have been operating for several years is another strong contributor to air pollution. Nolen says thankfully funding is now available to help clean up the problem. “We’ve had some of these diesel trucks last for hundreds of thousands of miles. There is new funding through the stimulus package to fix those, to put new filters on those.”