NEW YORK, NY (06/10/2010)(readMedia)-- The American Lung Association presented New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with its Clean Vehicle Champion Award on June 10, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for his work to promote the use of clean vehicles and healthier air. The award was presented at a reception co-sponsored by the American Lung Association during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting.
Mayor Bloomberg was nominated by local Lung Association volunteers. A national jury of volunteers selected Mayor Bloomberg for the award.
"Mayor Bloomberg first announced his sustainability agenda four years ago which focused on environmental initiatives intended to make the City of New York, the cleanest and greenest major city in the nation," said Irwin M. Berlin, M.D. Chief, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine at Elmhurst Hospital Center. "Major aspects of this plan are centered on the health benefits that could be accrued from improving New York's air quality."
The Mayor's efforts are already making a difference as evidenced by the improved air quality reported in the American Lung Association's State of the Air Report 2010. The American Lung Association in New York helped create parts of the air quality portions of the plan and has subsequently acted as a major partner in shepherding it through the legislative and regulatory processes.
"I am honored to be named a 'Clean Air Champion' by the American Lung Association, whose tireless efforts on behalf of Americans have led to cleaner air and significant gains in public health," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "Through PlaNYC, our blueprint for a greener, greater New York, we set the goal of achieving the cleanest air of any big city in America - and we've made significant progress. Since 2007, we've enacted laws to reduce pollution from school buses and ferries, converted 25 percent of our yellow taxis to hybrids, planted over 350,000 trees, and reduced emissions from the City's vehicle fleet. And we are working to green the heating fuels used in our schools and big buildings, which are responsible for 14 percent of our local air pollution."
Mayor Bloomberg has led an effort to modernize and clean up the pollution being emitted from the city's fleet of vehicles. In 2007, the American Lung Association joined Mayor Bloomberg and members of the City Council to announce a plan to "green" New York City's taxi fleet. Despite the fact that progress has been stalled in the courts, this effort has still led to almost one-quarter of the city's 13,237 yellow cabs becoming hybrid or clean diesel vehicles, the largest fleet of clean taxis in the country.
"Under Mayor Bloomberg's leadership, the city's bus fleet, operated by New York City Transit, has been significantly cleaned up," said Dr. Berlin. "In fact, New York City Transit has retrofitted more than 3,200 buses with diesel particulate filters, added 1,300 new buses that have diesel particulate filters; almost 900 hybrid buses; and 500 compressed natural gas buses. Additionally, New York City also passed a law last year setting a mandatory retirement age for school buses as well as a requirement for retrofit technology on all school buses."
Besides on-road clean vehicles, New York City has focused on marine vehicles including the Staten Island Ferry, which have been retrofitted and use Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, well in advance of the Environmental Protection Agency's 2012 mandated deadline for ferries. The New York Police Department has more than 200 hybrid cars and sport utility vehicles in its fleet, as well as all-electric, three-wheel, upright vehicles. They expect to double the pool of hybrid vehicles to more than 400 by the end of 2010. Sixty three percent of the Parks Department's 2,228-vehicle-strong fleet, ranging from garbage trucks to lawn mowers to vans, runs on alternative energy such as Clean Natural Gas, biodiesel, and solar power. More than 500 vehicles use hybrid or electric power.
The Parks' vehicle team was recognized as the most environmentally-friendly in the country by the National Association of Fleet Administrators. Under Mayor Bloomberg's leadership, New York City is using diverse technology to deploy Clean Vehicles and reach the goal of having the cleanest air of any major city in the nation.
About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungUSA.org