August 16, 2019
Environmental Health and Street Sweeping in the FCA Impact Area
Neighborhood Environmental Health Concerns
Increased traffic, demolition and construction are some of the many factors that can exacerbate asthma, respiratory and other health issues that are prevalent in our neighborhoods.
Rates of asthma hospitalizations in Detroit are three times higher than the State average.
A 2016 reportrevealed that 43.2 percent of asthma-afflicted children who were enrolled in Medicaid in the city had one or more emergency room visits per year for asthma, while the same figure for children in the rest of Michigan stood at 27.5 percent. Zip Codes 48214 and 48215 are among the highest rates for asthma hospitalization in the city.
Asthma is the leading chronic cause of school absenteeism in Detroit.
Street sweeping with environmentally efficient equipment and procedures (wetting streets first) can mitigate the collection of pollutants. Pollutants collect on street surfaces as a result of atmospheric deposition, vehicle emissions, winter road maintenance, construction site debris, trash, road wear and tear, and litter.
It is important to note that studies regarding the effectiveness of street sweeping on dust control vary. Many factors contribute to the outcomes including the type of sweeper equipment that is used, the frequency of the sweeping, and frequency of storms, etc.
Overall, street sweeping could be helpful; however, the practice seems to be more effective for stormwater management and not as effective when it comes to dust control or the reduction of particulate matter to improve ambient air quality.
Source: Effectiveness of Street Sweeping for Dust Control/PM Great Lakes Environmental Law CenterApril 13, 2017
However, frequent targeted sweeping with environmentally efficient street sweepers has been effective in:
- Reducing airborne Particulate Matter which contributes to green house gas (GHG) emissions;
- Improving local air quality, which has benefited the general health of City residents, workers and visitors, by reducing acute and chronic exposure of fine particulates;
- Removing toxic loads from city streets ensures particulate matter, that is typically washed down into catch basins to the storm sewer system, is significantly reduced; resulting in improved stormwater quality and a reduction in the cost of stormwater treatment Source:https://www.tac-atc.ca/sites/default/files/conf_papers/tac_submission_final_0.pdf
With the increased truck traffic, demolition and construction connected to the new Fiat Chrysler assembly line and paint plant the frequency of street sweeping throughout the FCA Impact Area must be increased and more frequent targeted sweeping in the blocks closest to the project are required. (Beniteau St., Lillibridge St., Fairview St, and Lemay St.)
The City of Detroit Street Sweeping info
“The city is divided into eastside and westside sweeping sections. The division sweeps local, major and state trunklines beginning in mid-April of each year. Sweeping crews post “No Parking” signs in areas to be swept 2 days before the scheduled sweeping. To ensure that parked vehicles do not hamper street cleaning efforts on the day of sweeping, the Municipal Parking Authority will ticket all parked vehicles. The sweeping process starts with water vehicles flushing the areas to control airborne dust particles, and follows with sweeper vehicles collecting street dirt and debris as close to the curb as possible. Every effort is made to sweep your street on days that do not conflict with your scheduled refuse or bulk collection days.”
Department of Public Works
Street Maintenance (313) 224-0033