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Mammoth picks up $792,500 for environmental projects

February 3, 2012

Quick now: how much do you figure a sidewalk snow blower costs?
 
Try $150,000 on for size.
 
Here’s another one: the cost of a new street sweeper?
 
If you guessed about quarter million dollars, you’d be spot on.
 
Fortunately for Mammoth, which needs both, a government program to help pick up the costs has come flying to the rescue. It’s called the Clean Air Projects Program.
 
The Mammoth Town Council got an earful of it Wednesday night. It didn’t take much for the proposal to win the council’s approval.
 
“The snow blower purchase will clear commuter sidewalks, resulting in a safer walking environment,” said the town staff in its recommendation to the council.
 
As for the street sweeper, the staff called its current sweeper “old and inefficient.”
 
CAPP indicated it would pick up the total cost for the snow blower, and $200,000 of the total $250,000 for the machine. The other $50,000 for the sweeper is to come out of the town’s vehicle replacement fund.
 
It’s a bit on the mind-boggling side as to what these new machines can do, said one of the manufacturers on its website.
 
Of all the particulate pollution that covers our byways, highways and streets, human activity is a big culprit.
 
Sources of particulate matter can be anthropogenic or natural.
 

Some of the pollution occurs naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and, on the coast, sea spray. 
 
Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels (from woodstoves and fireplaces), also generate pollution, as does cinder cleanup.
 
Averaged over the globe, anthropogenic aerosols—those made by human activities—currently account for about 10 percent of the total amount of particulate pollution in the atmosphere.
 
Running point on the projects is Lisa Isaacs, the CAPP administrator who is pushing through a number of projects on behalf of the Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District.
 
Also on her list, approved by the council Wednesday, is a majority funding of an air quality management plan update, which will cost upwards of $422,500. Of that, the council said the town would pick up $90,000.
 
And another thing: the town said CAPP would pick up $110,000 of a study for a redesign of Main Street from Sierra Boulevard to Minaret Road. The total cost is expected to be $120,000.
 
Nothing, as it turns out, comes cheap.

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