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Region 1: EPA New England


Greater Boston Breathes Better (GB3) is a growing partnership among federal, state and local governments, non-profits, institutions and private industry committed to making Boston more breathable by promoting innovative projects and strategies to reduce air pollution from transportation and construction sources. GB3 partnerships have resulted in a number of successful projects to date, which have had a measurable effect on the air that we breathe.

Featured Accomplishment

As a leader in cancer research and treatment, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber) chose to protect public health during construction of the Yawkey Cancer Center in Boston by incorporating clean diesel strategies. Together with Walsh Brothers, Inc., Dana-Farber decided to include an emissions control element in the construction plan after attending a seminar about implementing a retrofit program offered by Greater Boston Breathes Better. By supporting construction practices that reduce diesel emissions, they minimized the impact of the construction on patients, staff, visitors, residents of the nearby community, and those involved in the construction.

Project specifications include a no-idling policy, pollutant reductions of 42 percent for volatile organic compounds, 31 percent for carbon monoxide, 20 percent for particulate matter, and, where feasible, encouraging the use of electric-powered equipment. Subcontractors use a combination of retrofit technologies, such as diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) and cleaner fuels to achieve these specifications.

Over the five year time frame of the project, 25–30 pieces of equipment will be retrofitted, including excavators, cranes, loaders, and pumps. Dana-Farber is pleased with the outcome of the joint endeavor, and has added clean diesel/emissions reduction requirements to its Institutional Master Plan. This means all future construction projects will include clean diesel specifications in contract language. Dana-Farber believes that the added cost of the program, which is only a fraction of the total project cost, is more than worth the public health benefits realized.

The following link contains a complete list of GB3 projects underway:

GB3 Projects (PDF) (2 pp, 297 K, about PDF)

There are 71 employers in Boston, Cambridge and Watertown on the 2005 list of New England’s Best Workplaces for Commuters. For a complete list of Greater Boston employers that have earned the designation, please visit the following link:

2005 Greater Boston Best Workplaces for Commuters (PDF) (2 pp, 232 K, about PDF)

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