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Pennsylvania: The Philadelphia Clean Air Council (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary and links below provide a description and documentation of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania project that received a Level I Cooperative Agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2005, and a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement in 2008. These case studies serve as historic references and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


The Philadelphia Clean Air Council (2005)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EPA Region 3

On behalf of the Philadelphia Diesel Difference, the Philadelphia Clean Air Council is the recipient of a Level I CARE Cooperative Agreement. The Philadelphia Clean Air Council is a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that will use CARE funding to address the pollution that emanates from the Port of Philadelphia (PhilaPort). It will develop an Environmental Management System (EMS) that will enable Philadelphia's port facilities to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency. PhilaPort will involve port stakeholders, including operators, land-owners, community members and environmentalists, in a collaborative process to implement environmentally sustainable business practices.

CARE funding will be used to research port emissions and implement an action plan that addresses air pollution, water pollution, and land-use issues. Air pollution along ports is a health risk to port workers and people living in adjacent neighborhoods. Diesel exhaust from cargo ships increases cancer risks and incidences of asthma. Proposed measures to reduce the air pollution include the replacing old equipment with cleaner equipment, operating equipment on cleaner fuel, creating incentive programs to encourage fleet modernization, and devising anti-idling strategies. Water pollution is also common along ports. The Clean Air Council plans to prepare a stormwater prevention plan and provide guidance and incentives to reduce wastewater emissions from vehicles entering the facility. Land-use is a third issue that CARE funding expects to address. The Clean Air Council advocates careful planning to avoid sprawling onto greenspace or inappropriate sites.

Prospective CARE Partners: The Philadelphia Diesel Difference; City of Philadelphia; American Lung Association of Pennsylvania; Amtrak; Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (Penn Future); Department of Public Health, City of Philadelphia; Office of Fleet Management, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Cummins Power Systems, Inc.; Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission; The Energy Cooperative; Krapf Bus Company; National School Transportation Association; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission; Rentar Environmental Solutions, Inc.; School District of Philadelphia; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA); Sprague Energy; Ultraco; Wissahickon School District; the Port Richmond Community Group; the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; the Philadelphia Water Department.

The Philadelphia Clean Air Council  (2008)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
EPA Region 3

The Philadelphia Clean Air Council is the recipient of a Level II CARE Cooperative Agreement.  Through the Reducing Pollution in Southeast Philadelphia Port Communities project, the Clean Air Council will apply citizen-based advocacy and neighborhood partnerships to improve air quality in Southeast Philadelphia. Building on successful progress of Clean Air Council’s Level I CARE project, the Council will continue to work with the community on the Port Environmental Task Force. A significant portion of the work plan will include measurable toxic reductions at Packer Terminal and the nearby community in Southeast Philadelphia. The Clean Air Council, in partnership with the Southeast Philadelphia community leaders and the port operators, identified idling vehicles as a major concern. Through this project, the Council will build on success of the established partnership by implementing a multi-tiered project that will reduce toxics at the port and its impact on the community. Southeast Philadelphia, rich in racial, ethnic and cultural diversity, is a densely populated, congested urban area with significant educational, economic, and quality of life challenges. The Clean Air Council takes a comprehensive approach to improving air quality, working to strengthen the community’s ability to identify toxic threats, and facilitating the creation of collaborative, common sense strategies for addressing these threats.

Established CARE Partners: Energy Co-op, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Delaware River Keeper Network, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, City of Philadelphia, Delaware River Basin Commission, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Packer Marine Terminal (Greenwich), Holt Logistics Corp., Tioga Marine Terminal (Delaware River Stevedores), Pier 82 (Horizon), Pier 84 (Dependable Distribution), U.S. Coast Guard, Pilot’s Association for the Bay and River Delaware, United Communities of Southeast Philadelphia, Youth Leadership Council, Seaman’s Church Institute of Philadelphia, Jewish Community Senior Center of South Philadelphia, Queen Village Neighbors Association (QVNA), and Pennsylvania Migrant Education at Houston House.

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