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The Dirty, Noisy Power Behind Those Street-Fair Tacos

In many cities, summer means outdoor concerts and street fairs. It also means the polluting generators that power them. So how bad for the environment are they?
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Madison McVeigh/CityLab

It’s finally (almost) summer, and cities are coming alive with outdoor festivals, farmers markets-turned-street fairs, movie screenings in the park, and food-truck rallies.

Much of that activity runs on mobile generators, many of which burn diesel fuel to make electricity. Burning diesel also creates air pollutants like particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. So could the power source behind your favorite summer event be poisoning the city’s air?