Special Edition V.47 (July 2020)
Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could
Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere
NY Times

WASHINGTON — In the crystalline air of the pandemic economy, climate change researchers have been flying a small plane over Route I-95, from Boston to Washington, measuring carbon dioxide levels. Scientists have mounted air quality monitors on Salt Lake City’s light rail system to create intersection-by-intersection atmospheric profiles.

And government scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have started a Covid air quality study to gather and analyze samples of an atmosphere in which industrial soot, tailpipe emissions and greenhouse gases have plummeted to levels not seen in decades.

The data, from Manhattan to Milan to Mumbai, will inform scientists’ understanding of atmospheric chemistry, air pollution and public health for decades to come, while giving policymakers information to fine-tune air quality and climate change laws and regulations in hopes of maintaining at least some of the gains seen in the global shutdown as cars return to the roads and factories reopen.

Despite Traffic Decrease, Coronavirus Lockdowns Did Not Reduce Air Pollution Levels As Expected
Institute for Energy Research

According to the EPA’s air-quality monitors, levels of particulate matter — known as PM 2.5 — have not been lower during the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic and have, in fact, been higher than the median level of the last five years. Consisting of particles smaller than 2.5 microns, PM 2.5 includes natural sources such as smoke or sea salt, as well as human-caused pollution from combustion. This result was opposite what was expected because the number of vehicles driven was far less during the lockdowns. This result indicates that, in most places, human-caused pollution is small relative to natural sources. The pandemic has shown that a significant reduction in the human contribution makes only a small difference to PM 2.5 levels, which were already under the national standard.

Another pollutant, ozone, barely decreased in some cities due to the coronavirus lockdown compared with levels over the past five years, despite traffic reductions of over 40 percent. Ground-level ozone occurs when the chemicals emitted by vehicles, factories and other sources react with sunlight and heat. In the vast majority of places, ozone pollution decreased by 15 percent or less.

Live Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Webinar Scheduled

In response to frequent and numerous questions about various components of the new Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, MMTA has scheduled a live webinar to help inform our members. This webinar will guide participants through the basics of the Clearinghouse, the sometimes confusing registration process and it will answer many of the most frequently asked questions MMTA has been getting over the past months.  

MMTA’s Training Coordinator, Randy DeVault will be the presenter for this live webinar via Zoom. Participants will not need video or a microphone (you will need speakers for your computer to hear Randy) and will be able to submit questions live during Randy’s presentation. Given this is our first live webinar, we hope the process is smooth so that we can offer other remote learning opportunities in the future.

When: July 23, 2020 @ 9am
Cost: $25/person (MMTA members) or $50/person (non-members)

TO REGISTER ONLINE, CLICK HERE. Once registered, participants will receive an email with the details to connect to the webinar and a link to add it to your calendar.

Additionally, we have developed a landing page for members to access Clearinghouse resources. Here is the link to the resources we have put together for members https://www.mmta.com/drug-alcohol-clearinghouse/.

Please let us know if you have ideas to make this resource better.
Additional TIA Basic Commercial Tire Service Seminar Scheduled

Due to popular demand and the importance of the information delivered, the MMTA has scheduled an additional Tire Industry Association (TIA) Basic Commercial Tire Service seminar for August 11th at the MMTA.  

The Basic CTS Program (200 Level) is presented by Maine Commercial Tire and focuses on OSHA compliance training for new hires and experienced technicians using an in-house program without certification. This is an 8-hour video/workbook training program where the instructor uses the TIA’s Instructor Guide to lead the class through the videos and Student Workbooks that use lesson plans and module quizzes.

August 11, 2020
8:00am- 4:00pm
Lunch will be on your own
$140 for members
$180 for non-members

For more information about this class: Basic Commercial Tire Service Flyer

Please complete the OSHA Skills Demonstration Form. Registration can not be processed without this form.

MMTA Conference Room Chairs Up For Grabs

Prior to the pandemic, MMTA had ordered replacement chairs for our conference room. We are finally taking delivery of the new chairs on July 8th and, on that date, the existing chairs will be taken away. However, we wanted to offer these chairs to members who might want some – they are free as long as you make arrangements with Cecile to pick them up PRIOR to July 8th. Any chairs remaining on July 8th will be taken away by the installers.

This offer is first come, first served and we can’t stress enough that we will not be holding chairs past the 8th. There are 24 chairs remaining, so please let Cecile know via email how many you would like and when you will be picking them up prior to July 8th.
US, Mexico set for new post-NAFTA trade era
The Hill

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) came into effect on Wednesday in a political and diplomatic environment radically different from the one that brought the three countries together under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994.

Unlike its predecessor, the USMCA will come into force four months before the U.S. presidential election, granting whomever prevails in November the power to enforce its novel labor, environmental, auto industry, digital commerce and dairy provisions.

The deal puts in new rules around digital trade, makes changes in point of origin rules that determine what products can be traded across borders without tariffs, and rewrites labor enforcement mechanisms. It is expected to boost the U.S. auto and agricultural industries, among others.

We will keep MMTA members posted as new information comes in. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to email Tim, Randy or Brian if you have questions.