In California there are over 1 million diesel semis' that belch tons of fine particulates into the air each day. It's no wonder that several of the cities in California are rated as having the most polluted air. Trucking companies wouldn't police them and fit their rigs with better air pollution controls, so the state had to step in.
The new laws call for all trucks that do business in California to be fitted or retro fitted with new pollution control systems: diesel particulate filters and oxidation catalysts. The state believes that thousands of lives can be saved by starting to clean up the air from dirty diesel trucks. The new diesel truck laws go into effect in 2010 under the direction of the California Air Resources Board.
The state's truckers believe that some of the smaller companies may be forced out of business by the $12,000 per truck cost of the new filtration systems and the fact that many will have to replace motors to meet the new guidelines. The total cost to trucking companies could be as much as $5.5 billion dollars, but the state has offered $1 billion in assistance.
While the trucking industry cries foul over their costs, the state points to 9,500 lives saved and $50 billion in health care costs savings. The state government hopes to see a reduction of particulates by 75% to 85%. That may be an optimistic goal, but even half of that would save on the medical bills of children who may not develop asthma.
Another answer could be alternative fuels or additives that reduce emissions by creating a cleaner burn. A fellow by the name of Ozzy Freeman has introduced one such invention. According to his system, you can take a container of distilled water (H2O), and run 12 volts of electricity through it from the vehicle's battery by turning on the ignition. This starts up a process called "Electrolysis" which separates the hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the water and forms a gas called "HHO" (Hydrogen + Hydrogen + Oxygen). The hydrogen gas gets sucked into the vacuum air intake system of the engine where it combines with the diesel and produces a super level of combustion… three times more powerful than diesel alone, thus requiring a lot less fuel and greatly reduces toxic emissions. Read more about HHO hydrogen fuel, and decide what you will. If true, could be a 2 for 1 great deal, better mileage and less pollution.
Whether the solution lies in burning our fuels more efficiently or finding new fuels isn't the main question. Air pollution is killing our children and elderly in the same way the cigarette smoke does. California has made a huge leap into the future with its new legislation. Personally, I think that those same tougher rules should be enforced on factory emissions as well. The initial coast to business may seem daunting, but how will they feel when their health care costs go down and fewer employees call in on a daily basis? Better yet, how will you feel if there is even one less day that your eyes burn and your lungs feel like they are on fire? While most of us in Rio Del Mar don't have to suffer that unless you get caught behind a school bus, many in big cities do face that problem daily.
While we have the coastal air to help cleanse our environment, there is still a problem here, especially in inland valley communities. While this law attacks part of the same issue that created the "Spare the air" day, trucks contribute a lot to particulate pollution. Part of the issue is that trucks have long life spans and have escaped regulations because of that. Many trucks are still needed to build the empires of silicon valley that are build with our concrete from Davenport and the sand from our quarries in Scotts Valley and Zayante. These trucks emit the particulates as well as dispersing the fine particulates from the mining operation into the air as they drive. There has been outcry from the mining particulates at times too.
I am all for this additional pollution controls and thinks the costs are relatively minimal compared to the total cost of health care and environmental damage to our trees. If you want to search for Santa Cruz eco friendly homes, that don't emit so many pollutants you can find some of the here.