Air Quality Problems and Solutions, Alternative Energies and New Technologies Examined at 19th Annual Clean Air Conference

Note to Editors: Media representatives are invited to attend the 19th Annual Mobile Sources/Clean Air Conference Sept. 9-12 at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Conference Center in Steamboat Springs, Colo. To register or to arrange interviews, contact Brad Bohlander or Jennifer Dimas at (970) 491-6432.

Leading researchers, environmentalists, policy makers, educators and government and corporate representatives from throughout the world will gather to discuss pressing air quality problems and solutions at the 19th annual Mobile Sources/Clean Air Conference. The conference, held Sept. 9-12 at the Sheraton Steamboat Resort and Conference Center in Steamboat Springs, Colo., is presented by the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety at Colorado State University.

The annual conference attracts key scientists and decision-makers and is designed to build partnerships among groups with a common commitment to finding solutions to air quality problems caused by vehicles. The conference focuses on several key areas of air quality, including the development of alternative energies and advanced technologies to help monitor and improve air quality and assessments of current programs.

"The Clean Air Conference brings together a variety of distinctive groups and individuals who look forward to the opportunity to meet and discuss research and views on emissions issues," said Lenora Bohren, director of the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety. "Government officials, state representatives, environmentalists, educators and representatives from the automotive industry collaborate, debate and learn from each other at this unique symposium."

A few of the conference’s highlights include:

–     Janice Noland from the American Lung Association Assessment, who will be speaking on Air Progress;

–     a panel discussion about effective outreach and education efforts;

–     a session about using remote sensing technologies to monitor air quality; and

–     Professor Bill Parton from Colorado State University, who will speak on "Ethanol and the Greenhouse Gas Impacts."

Presenters include professionals from the EPA, the California Air Resources Board, the U.S. Department of Transportation, Colorado State and other universities as well as private companies and government agencies. The conference attracts participants from the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada and Germany.

One key portion of the conference examines on-board diagnostics technology and the industry and public response to the 1996-mandated addition to vehicles. Related sessions include a panel discussion titled "State by State OBD Program Evaluation Update," a talk about "The Effects of OBD on the Repair Industry" and a presentation about "OBD II Testing and Other Technical Issues."

Bohren has researched the public response to the OBD II technology and has found that, if people are educated about the meaning of the "check engine light," they are more likely to have their vehicles repaired.  

"The ‘check engine light’ is an effective early-warning system that tells the driver there is a potential problem with their vehicle’s emissions control systems," said Bohren. "By fixing the problem, the driver can potentially save money by preventing more costly repairs in the future and by improving fuel economy. In addition, there is less pollution in the air when cars are properly maintained."

The 19th Annual Mobile Source Clean Air Conference is sponsored by the National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety, a research/training center at Colorado State. The center is in the Department of Manufacturing Technology and Construction Management and part of the College of Applied Human Sciences. The center, currently celebrating more than 28 years of dedicated service to a cleaner environment, has a long history of international involvement. Training has been performed in Canada and Mexico and International Clean Air Conferences have been held in Germany, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica and other countries.

The National Center for Emissions Control and Safety was established in 1976 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is the nation’s only university-based center devoted exclusively to the study of light-duty vehicle emissions control.

For more information, call (970) 491-7240 or visit