Citing clean air concerns, a group of doctors is trying to curtail
growth of the trucking industry in Cumberland County, PA.
The group, which consists of 102 doctors from the Carlisle Regional
Medical Center, paid for an advertisement in The
Patriot-News in Harrisburg on Tuesday, Aug. 23, calling for a halt
to the growth of trucking business along the so-called Miracle Mile – a stretch
of the Harrisburg Turnpike near Carlisle, PA.
While the doctors did acknowledge the importance of the trucking
industry, they said in the advertisement that Carlisle is a “hot spot of diesel
pollution.” The group cited statistics from the American Lung Association,
which ranks Cumberland County as the 24th most polluted area in the country.
The Miracle Mile is home to several truck stops and Cumberland County
has a number of trucking and shipping companies within its borders.
Jim Runk is president of the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association. His
group represents trucking companies. He said efforts of this kind are nothing
new in the area.
“They’ve been trying to do that for years,” he told Land Line. “One (county) commissioner
wanted to buy land around that area through a grant and then only resell it to
light industry. That didn’t work.”
Which is not to say that Runk dismissed the group’s claims
“We’re working on our behalf to do our part to help clean up the air
with cleaner burning fuel and cleaner burning engines,” he said. “We’re trying
to do what we can to help the environment.”
Runk cited new Environmental Protection Agency regulations regarding
cleaner burning diesel and cleaner burning engines that will kick in during
2006 and 2007. He said those regulations should help calm concerns about the
“This is a prime location for trucking,” he said. “Once they see what
the 2006-2007 regulations are, I don’t think you’re going to see much of an
uproar over that again.”
In the meantime, nearby Middlesex Township has approved a resolution to
allow IdleAire Technologies Corp. to install 73 of its units at the Petro truck
stop there. Pennsylvania has given the company $900,000 to install the units.