In the past half-century, vehicles, industry, and aerosol-based consumer products have emitted several tons of particulate matter, nitrous oxide, sulfur oxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Along with harming human health, air pollution can cause a variety of environmental effects such as: acid rain, eutrophication, haze, effects on wildlife, ozone depletion, crop and forest damage, and global climate change.
The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland combats air pollution by assisting in the administration of several programs, including the Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program and the Maryland Clean Car Clinic. Vehicles are the single largest contributors to air pollution, yet efforts to increase the efficiency of consumer and commercial vehicles can significantly improve local air, water, and soil quality.
The Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program provides grant funds to replace older vehicles with more emission-efficient engines and recognizes program partners for achieving goals that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases associated with the transport of goods.
The Maryland Clean Car Clinic program is an effort to educate the public on the benefits of keeping a vehicle well maintained. These free clinics provide motorists with the opportunity to have their vehicles inspected by an accredited automotive technician and learn ways to maintain their cars to keep them running cleanly, thereby reducing costly repairs and extending the life of the vehicle.