The Diesel Health Project held a Clean Air Open House last Thursday, May 26, at the Argentine Community Center. Despite a tornado warning and a torrential rainfall of almost 4 inches that night, the turnout was good.
We had a fun and informative Clean Air Open House, in partnership with seven great organizations that work in Wyandotte County and participated in the evening with tables, information sharing, and more.
- Children’s Mercy Hospital
- Climate + Energy
- Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Historic Northeast-Midtown Association
- NAACP, KCK Chapter
- Kansas Sierra Club
Here are a few snapshots of the evening.
This Fall, the Diesel Health Project will offer training on the health risks of diesel exhaust air pollution and how people can protect themselves and their community. If you or your organization would be interested in us giving the training at your location or event, please contact Eric Kirkendall at 785-550-3408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With thanks to everyone who made the evening possible, including wonderful Kansas City, Kansas Parks and Recreation staff; the amazing folks who run the fine Argentine Community Center; Elaine Giessel and Eric Aldape, who planned the event; our main speakers Richard Mabion and Leticia DeCaigny; the staff of Region 7 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the volunteers and folks who hosted tables, spoke, and helped in many other ways.
And thank you Luis Aparacio for many of the photographs.
The Kanza Group of the Sierra Club held their annual fundraiser and auction last month. Eric Kirkendall, director of the Diesel Health Project, attended and staffed an information table.
Richard Voss, who has been helping the Diesel Health Project by building an Arduino-based particulate matter monitor, displayed that very fascinating device.
The evening was MC’d by Elaine Giessel, vice-chair of the Kansas Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Dr. Christopher J. Anderson, Research Assistant Professor at Iowa State University, and Assistant Director of the Iowa State University Climate Science Program was the guest speaker of the evening. His presentation, “How Kansas Could Benefit from the Paris Climate Agreement” was excellent.
He emphasized how implementation of the agreement could substantially slow down the pace of global warming. He said he expects the impact of climate change on the Kansas City area to include increasing temperatures, more heavy rains and an increase in annual precipitation.
This was a fun evening, with wonderful food cooked by Sierra Club members, beers and wines from Kansas breweries and wineries, and a huge silent auction that included art, books, items for the home and outdoors, and much much more.
Last week, the Diesel Health Project of Kansas City participated in the Moving Forward Network’s petition to reduce toxic diesel health exhaust pollution near ports and rail yards in Washington, D.C. Representatives from various states across the country from Kansas to California all met in Washington to gain attention, and awareness of this ongoing problem. During our trip to Washington, members of our team spoke with several different EPA organizations, where we described the harsh public health impacts as well as the overall pollution.
The main focus of the Diesel Health Project and other organizations focus was to directly reach out to Gina McCarthy, the EPA Administrator. Many of the community coordinators, such as Leticia DeCaigny, who is our very own coordinator at the Diesel Health Project believe that McCarthy does care about the problem, but the issue we are now facing is whether or not she is going to take action. Leticia is a large advocate for both the Diesel Health Project, and public health and safety in general, “After my 8-year old son died of cancer, I wanted to devote myself to reducing the incidence of childhood illness and to improve the quality of life for all”. Leticia went on to say that two things that motive her and other members of the Diesel Health Project to travel to Washington D.C. and become active in the campaign is to eliminate diesel emissions in the Kansas City area, and for others who face similar problems in sea and inland ports all over America.