American Lung Association Named Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities

Clean Air Choice Program leads to improved air quality, public health benefits

The American Lung Association has been named the 2017 Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting clean-energy and clean-air solutions for transportation in the Chicago area impacting nearly 9 million people.

The American Lung Association oversees the Clean Air Choice™ program throughout the United States promoting alternative renewable fuels such as biodiesel and E85, partnering with fleets to replace legacy diesel engines, and by supporting the clean-air advantages of electric and hybrid vehicles.

"We are truly honored to be named a Clean Fuels Champion by Chicago Area Clean Cities," said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Air pollution poses a serious threat to our nation's health. Studies show that air pollution from transportation causes asthma attacks and contributes to premature death and lung cancer among many other health concerns. Clean transportation plays an important role in improving air quality and lung health.

"Clean Air Choice™ actions taken by consumers and by commercial and government fleets to decrease vehicle emissions are vitally important to addressing these public-health issues and improving the quality of life in our communities," Wimmer said. "Along with our partners like Clean Cities, our team works extremely hard to encourage the use of clean-vehicle technologies, such as alternative fuels, replacing older engines, and use of electric and hybrid vehicles."

The Clean Fuels Champion was awarded last night at the coalition's Annual Meeting. The award has been given annually since 2001 to an individual, organization, or business that champions the promotion of alternative fuels and technologies to reduce vehicle emissions and reduce petroleum usage. Recent award recipients include the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Testa Produce, and Ozinga Bros, Inc.

"The American Lung Association is truly a champion of clean fuels, clean vehicles, clean air, and clean cities," said John W. Walton, chair of the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition. "The American Lung Association works hard every day to promote clean-air choices across the nation. They have partnered with us on a number of projects to promote our Clean Cities' mission and to reduce harmful vehicle emissions."

Alternative-fuel and electric-vehicle programs the Lung Association oversees include:

  • Clean Air Choice™: The Lung Association’s overarching program promotes the use of cleaner-burning fuels and cleaner engine technology that reduce motor vehicle emissions, including the use of biofuels (E85 and biodiesel), and electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • B20 Club: The B20 Club is a partnership of the Illinois Soybean Association Checkoff Program and the American Lung Association in Illinois, recognizing Illinois-based fleets running on biodiesel blends of 20 percent or greater for at least six months of the year. Since the formation of the club in 2013, member fleets have used nearly 20 million gallons of B20 biodiesel fuel and reduced more than 29,000 tons of CO2 emissions and nine tons of particulate matter (PM) – with $5 million in health benefits.
  • U.S. EPA’s Clean Diesel Program: Diesel emissions account for 6.3 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 305,000 tons of particulate matter in the U.S. A 2010 study estimated that 45 percent of Americans live near roads with elevated levels of traffic emissions. Since 2008, the American Lung Association has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and 125 fleets to replace 1,500 vehicles and eliminate 950,000 tons of lifetime emissions (NOx and PM) through clean-diesel projects that improve air quality in local areas. These projects have helped significantly reduce the consumption of diesel fuel through new technologies.
  • Midwest EVOLVE (Electric Vehicle Opportunities: Learning, eVents, Experience): Launched in 2017, Midwest EVOLVE is a partnership between the American Lung Association and eight Clean Cities coalitions throughout the Midwest to demonstrate the performance and environmental benefits of plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Illinois Alternative Fuels Alliance: Formed in 2017, the alliance consists of organizations that work on clean-air and clean-vehicle solutions in Illinois.

At the awards ceremony, CACC also named its 2017 Green Fleet Leadership Award winners: FedEx Express, ComEd, City of Chicago, City of Elmhurst, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Waste Management, Peapod, Continental Air Transport, Chicago Transit Authority, Coca-Cola, and Watts on Wheels. Each organization was recognized for its successful use of vehicles with alt fuels and advanced technologies.

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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