Jeff Dekay-Bemis: Idling cars |

Jeff Dekay-Bemis: Idling cars

I have read with interest the multiple submissions addressing concerns about the potential pollution from the proposed reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine, so I’m inspired to write about another pollution source in our area: The eight (and soon to be nine) drive-thru restaurants in the Brunswick Basin.

Idling cars generate around 30 million tons of CO2 per year. Just 10 minutes of idling produces one pound of CO2. Children are particularly at risk from this pollution, since they breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults. Fine particles from exhaust can cause lung damage, aggravate asthma and bronchitis, increase heart disease, and lead to cancer and premature death.

The Department of Energy has four primary recommendations for idle reduction, and one is: “Avoid using drive-thru. Shut off your engine, and walk inside.”

A brief survey of the hours of operation for these restaurants shows a total of 123.5 hours, per 24 hour day!

What has gotten me going on this subject is the approval of the opening of the new Dutch Brothers in the Fowler Center. On a recent morning visit to the hardware store, I counted 18 cars idling in multiple lines waiting for coffee. My jaw dropped.

With poorly considered approvals such as these by the planning panels, is OKing the proposed mine far behind?

Jeff Dekay-Bemis

Grass Valley

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