Environmental Regulations in Public Transit Term Paper

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Environmental Regulations in Public Transit

The negative effects of air pollution are that it can force illness on us. It can produce burning eyes and nose and an itchy, irritated throat, in addition to difficulty in breathing. The cause for certain diseases like cancer, birth defects, brain and nerve injury and long-standing wound to the lungs and breathing passages is found to be some chemicals in polluted air. Severe injury or even death can happen if some hazardous air pollutants are released by mistake. Air pollution affects environment. Air pollution also affects trees, lakes and animals. Air pollutants are contracting the shielding ozone layers above the Earth. This loss of ozone can lead to alterations in the environment in addition to more skin cancer and cataracts in people. By soiling buildings and other structures, air pollution spoils properties like home, offices, etc. Damages to stone-based structures like buildings, monuments and statues take place as some widespread pollutants erode stone. Decrease in visibility due to smog caused by air pollution can affect national parks and at times meddle with aviation. (Why should you be concerned about air pollution?)

The biggest segment of the nation's population occupies swiftly growing metropolitan and urban areas. The urbanization, industrial growth, and the enlarged use of motor vehicles has lead to an swell in air pollution, which in turn has produced hazards to the public health and welfare, including damage to agricultural crops and livestock, destruction to property, and threats to air and ground transportation. The most important responsibility of State and local governments is to put a stop to air pollution by controlling, minimizing or eradicating the quantity of pollutants formed or produced at a source. The federal Clean Air Act or CAA and its amendments provides the authority for programs executed by these agencies and these amendments were conceded to look after and improve air quality for the advantage of the country's public health, welfare, and industrial capacity. (PROACT Fact Sheet)

Comparison of Environmental regulations in public transit in America and an Asian country:

For the study of an Asian country, we shall look at India. Vehicles like cars, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, trucks and buses are the major source of pollution in India's cities. Efforts taken to advance and promote the use of public transportation are minimal even though there have been small efforts in moving towards unleaded fuel. Buses for commuters are inadequately maintained and Railways have been ignored. The inferior quality vehicles produced by tempo, truck private bus manufacturers regularly exceed emission norms. Personal cars would not be precedence in a socialist economy. In place of private cars, suitable significance should be given to growing the rail network and enhancing the quality of buses and goods transport vehicles. Regrettably, the attraction with private ownership and support of private enterprise is hard to be wrecked by a majority in the environmental movement. Hence, societies make little, or very sluggish progress in solving these pressing concerns. High density of India's population is the cause for many of India's environmental disagreements. While Europe was able to relieve the pressure of its mushrooming population through colonial occupations in America and Australia, India has limited choices because countries like the U.S. And Australia have limited migration to a dribble. (Whose Environment is it?)

More severe standards for vehicular emissions have been reported under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, which came into effect in April 1996, to alleviate pollution issues in Indian cities. Ministry of Surface Transport is handling the 1988 Indian Motor Vehicle Act and the 1989 Central Motor Vehicle Rules. The utilization of environment-friendly fuels such as Compressed Natural Gas or CNG and Liquefied Petroleum Gas or LPG as auto-fuels has been legislated by Motor Vehicle Act, 2000. Furthermore, with effect from 1.4.2000, Bharat Stage-I norms, which are similar to Euro-I norms, have been launched all over the country. Also, in Delhi, Bharat Stage-II norms, which foresee a sulphur content of 0.05% maximum for petrol and diesel both, as against higher amounts under Bharat Stage-I, have been launched; these norms are also being launched in the other three metropolitan cities namely Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai in a gradual mode. The ministry of Railways manages the Railways Act 1989. (Economic aspects of sustainable development in India)

In order to promote use of environment-friendly fuel like CNG, LPG etc., the ministry
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of Finance offers tax incentives. An inter-Ministerial Committee to spell out the road map for future emission norms for the country is chaired by the Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board. With reference to safety norms, rules and regulations for all aspects of Railway working including Safety, Operations and Maintenance of assets, the ministry of Railways has its own procedures. The use of environmental-friendly fuel like CNG, LPG, fuel cell etc. For automotive purposes has been legislated in August 2000. In order to regulate road transport for improved energy efficiency and pollution control, and to make the mass transport network feasible through a rational tariff policy and a refurbishment of the fleet, the government is taking steps. To tackle the increasing necessities of the overseas trade, the capacity of the ports in terms of their berths and cargo handling equipment are being enhanced. To carry higher segments of the sea-based trade in native bottoms, the shipping industry needs to be facilitated. (Economic aspects of sustainable development in India)

American Public Transportation Association or APTA has over 1,300 member organizations that comprises of transit systems; planning, design, construction and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation and it is a nonprofit international association. By offering secure, competent and inexpensive transit services and products, APTA members serve the public interest. APTA members serve in excess of ninety percent of persons using public transportation in the United States and Canada. For the public transportation industry to more efficiently deal with mobility needs around the country, assistance comes from the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century has, with its policy modifications and definite financial support. The industry's capability to fulfill service demands in urban, suburban, and rural America is enhanced by the legislation obviously and considerably. (Planning Regulations)

Furthermore, it is impossible to exaggerate the significance of participatory public planning in developing transportation plans, programs, and projects. Without significant public involvement programs customized to the specific home conditions, efficient transportation planning does not happen. The TEA 21 provision that adds users of public transportation to the list of persons given the chance to remark on long-range plans and transportation implementation plans or implementation plans -- TIP is supported by APTA. Organizing the environmental process for the delivery of transportation projects is one of the necessities of TEA 21. According to APTA, the variations in the proposed regulations are negligible and do not make considerable enhancements in organizing the environmental process for transportation projects. Though the projected rules clean up a few areas, they do not do much to make possible good transportation choices or to cut down the project delivery timetable. (Planning Regulations)

Clean Air Act:

Though the national air pollution control program is essentially based on the 1970 version of the law, the initial Clean Air Act was conceded in 1963. The 1970 law were amended in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. To decrease pollutants in our air by 56 billion pounds a year, 224 pounds for every person in the country, by the time the law is completely put into operation in 2005, is the on the whole objective of the 1990 Amendments. The strong points of the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the environmental lessons learned over the past 20 years are the foundation for the 1990 Amendments. We can inhale cleaner air every year once the objectives of the law are fulfilled. The Clean Air Act controls two clusters of air pollutants. In the first cluster, there are only six pollutants called "criteria" pollutants, namely, ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, lead, and particulate matter or PM. These pollutants are located in comparatively large quantities in our lower atmosphere, specifically in inhabited areas. These pollutants intimidate human health and the environment across wide regions of the country. Excluding ozone, all of the criteria pollutants are straightaway released or given off into the air from an extensive range of sources, such as industries, motor vehicles, and other human activities. (Background Sheet: The Clean Air Act)

Ozone is not straightaway released, but is created in the presence of sunlight by a photochemical reaction between nitrogen dioxide and volatile organic compounds or VOC. VOC's are hydrocarbons given off from industries or vehicle tailpipe exhaust, or fumes from oil-based paints and solvents. Based on health risk studies, EPA lay down national standards for each of the criteria pollutants. To guarantee that the standards are fulfilled, all states must take action. Based on the findings of new health risk studies, EPA recently amended the standards for ozone and particulate matter. "Non-attainment" is the term referred to the failure to fulfill the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Background on Air Pollution. Retrieved from http://www.nsc.org/ehc/mobile/acback.htm Accessed on 28 May 2005

Background Sheet: The Clean Air Act. 4 November, 2000. Retrieved from http://www.deq.state.la.us/assistance/educate/readdat4.htm Accessed on 28 May 2005

Clean Air Act. Retrieved from http://www.answers.com/topic/clean-air-act Accessed on 28 May 2005

Economic aspects of sustainable development in India. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/natlinfo/countr/india/eco.htm Accessed on 28 May 2005

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