Intercontinental Mobile Sources/Clean Air Conference Addresses Latin American Air Pollution and Global Emissions Concerns March 6-8

Note to Editors: Media representatives are invited to attend the Mobil Sources/Clean Air Conference March 6-8 at Hotel Herradura Resort and Conference Center in San Jose, Costa Rica. Interviews with speakers should be arranged before March 1. For more information, contact June Greist by e-mail at or by phone at (970) 491-6432.

Top automobile manufacturers, government officials and environmental agencies will address the air pollution problem in Latin America and around the world at the Fourth Annual Intercontinental Mobile Sources/Clean Air Conference in Costa Rica March 6-8.

"There is a special urgency to the air pollution problem in Latin America," said Birgit Wolff, director of the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety. "The conference will be held in Costa Rica because of these concerns about emissions in Latin America. Conference participants learn from each other and will be working toward innovative solutions to shared problems.

"Outdoor air pollution from every country directly or indirectly affects all of us. This conference allows experts to exchange information about cutting-edge technology, research findings and clean air initiatives."

Sessions include hands-on demonstrations, panel discussions and thought-provoking debates. Topics include clean-air programs, new technologies, alternative fuels and health issues related to vehicle emissions. Highlighted sessions include a discussion of "Negative and Positive Impact of Global Warming," presented by Dr. Bill Parton of the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University; a panel with students from Costa Rica and the United States discussing environmental problems and solutions; and a talk titled "Green Fleets/Clean Cities Programs" by Dr. Jerry Gallagher, an expert at Mobile Sources and former vehicle emissions program director with the Colorado Department of Environment.

The conference will include speakers from the United States, Panama, Mexico, Chile, Canada, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Speakers will present research and offer possible solutions related to clean air programs, education, technologies, fuels and health.

The conference schedule follows.

March 5, 6-8 p.m. Registration/welcome toast. Speaker: Senora Odio Benitez, vice president of Costa Rica and Minister of the Environment. Keynote speaker: Matilde Espinosa Rubio, professor, CIIEMAD-IPN, Mexico City, Mexico.

March 6, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Welcome remarks: Dr. Birgit Wolff, director of the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety, Colorado State University. Speaker: The Honorable Thomas Dodd, United States Ambassador to Costa Rica. Clean Air Programs: "Panama Mobile Source Pollution Initiatives." "Transportation Control Measures in Santiago, Chile." "Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance and Mexico City Air Pollution." "Central American Air-Quality Monitoring and Modeling." "Controlled Tune-up Programs for Guadalajara, Mexico." "Canada’s Vehicle Emissions AirCare Program." "Lima’s Clean-Air Challenges." Education: "Solar Power for Cleaner Air." "World Bank Latin American Clean Air Initiatives." "Negative and Positive Impact of Global Warming." "Design, Build and Operate an Inspection and Maintenance Program." "Green Fleets/Clean Cities Programs." Technologies: "Remote Sensing: Advancing Technology into Practice."

March 7, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Technologies: "Diagnostics and Repair: Advancing Technology into Practice." "U.S.-Mexico Border Vehicle Emissions." "Air Quality Monitoring Program for Costa Rica." "Electric Vehicles and Other Innovative Transportation." Fuels: "Diesel Emission Control Strategies." "Natural Gas Vehicles in Mexico City." Special Session: "Student to Student." Health: "Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health." "Direct and Indirect Health Benefits of Onboard Diagnostics Technology."

March 8, 9 a.m. -12 p.m. Hands-on demonstrations of equipment and technologies.

The National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control And Safety is in the Department of Manufacturing Technology and Construction Management and part of the College of Applied Human Sciences.

The National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety was established in 1976 by the EPA and is the nation’s only university-based center devoted exclusively to the study of light-duty vehicle emissions control. The center recently established an on-board diagnostics and research center though funding from a major federal grant.

For more information about the Fourth Annual Mobile Source/Clean Air Conference, check the conference Web site at or contact Wolff at (970) 491-7240.