Transportation is the fastest growing sector in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. As an environmental justice and equity issue, Clean Air Council is a vigorous and long-standing advocate of sustainable and fair transportation policy. Its advocacy ranges from founding and shaping coalitions for alternative transportation, to implementing programs designed to reduce automobile use in specific communities, to increasing public participation in local transportation planning and holding transportation forums and community meetings.
Today, transportation associated problems extend to not only mobile source air pollution and its health effects, but also fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas reduction, land use impacts and sprawl. In Philadelphia, motor vehicles account for up to 60% of the total air pollution, according to the U.S. EPA. The Council works through government oversight to ensure that all planning and transportation decisions take into account public health and the environment, public education and advocacy to promote the use of alternatives to the private motor car wherever possible, and empowering neighborhoods to ensure local transportation needs are addressed with a satisfactory input from community members.
Clean Air Council's work in the area of transportation goes back to 1969 when it filed a lawsuit against auto manufacturers for not putting pollution control devices on their vehicles. This led to the Council’s litigation in the 1970s compelling Pennsylvania to implement an automobile Inspection and maintenance program as required under federal law. In 1993 the Council advocated for greater public input into the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)’s decision-making process. The Council established its telecommuting program in 1995 and PhillyWalks in 1998. In 2003 Clean Air Council began work on the Tinicum-Fort Mifflin multi-use trail, which will connect Southwest Philadelphia with Delaware County. In recent years the Council has initiated its Green Ports program to address environmental issues from port facilities and has actively partnered with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to recommend improvements to its public transit service.
- Reduce the impact of vehicle emissions on air pollution.
- Promote sustainable land use such as transit oriented development.
- Address the impact on air quality from the movement of goods.