Group Says Diesel Fumes Endanger One in Five

Aug 13, 2003

A local environmental group says one in five people in central Ohio lives in an area with dangerous levels of diesel fumes. The group calls on government and private companies to install pollution-control equipment. The Ohio Environmental Council says a quarter of a million people live in what they call diesel hot spots. Most of the hot spots are near major roadways. The council's Staci Putney says several health studies have indicated people who live in heavily polluted areas are at greater risk for cancer and lung disease. The group calls on governments and private companies to install pollution control equipment on existing trucks and buses, use cleaner burning diesel fuel and use alternative energy sources. The problem for governments and industry is cost. One Columbus city official says it will be difficult to meet those goals because of the higher costs of upgraded fuel and equipment. Franklin County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy says she will work to get the county fleet retrofitted. Even in these tight budget times, Kilroy says the county must come up with the money to pay for clean air because the long run costs will be too high.

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