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URA to Adopt Environmentally Friendly Clean Construction Guidelines

Updated: Feb 21

The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh is set Thursday to adopt the City’s “Clean Construction” guidelines.

The guidelines require all city government construction projects costing $2.5 million or more to use diesel emission control strategies on construction vehicles, including the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The guidelines require the use of the best available control technology, such as a diesel particulate filter, on all on-road vehicles, like dump trucks, and off-road equipment, such as backhoes and bulldozers, that are involved in the projects.

The Clean Construction guidelines were introduced by then-City Councilman William Peduto in 2011 and then revised in 2016 to make them easier to follow for contractors.

The McFarren Bridge project in the city’s Duck Hollow neighborhood was the first major project to come under the revised guidelines.

The Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) and other environmental advocates worked hard for that passage, and have long called for city-affiliated agencies such as the URA to adopt Clean Construction policies.

“Adoption of this policy by the URA will have a positive impact on the environment and those working on and living near the construction projects, where the policy applies and is implemented,” says the resolution going before the board on Thursday.

GASP lauds the proposed move.

“GASP applauds the URA for adopting the City’s clean construction requirements for their own projects,” said Rachel Filippini, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution. “Reducing diesel emissions, which are a significant source of air pollution known to cause cancer, is an important initiative that all city authorities and institutions that build in the city should take.”

Pittsburgh United Executive Director Jennifer Rafanan Kennedy said, “We applaud the tireless work GASP has engaged in to push forward policies that improve our air and community’s health.”

She continued: “Thanks to GASP, Pittsburgh continues to advance greener construction, helping to reduce harmful diesel pollution. We hope to see these guidelines – and other pollution-reducing remedies – adopted by all city authorities.”

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