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EPA Awards Nearly $2 Million to Chelsea Collaborative to Reduce Diesel Emissions and Create Jobs

Release Date: 09/01/2010
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Sept. 1, 2010) – Significant funding from the Recovery Act will help the Chelsea Produce Market to dramatically reduce diesel emissions, improving air quality in a busy urban shipping center, protecting health for thousands of Boston-area residents.

In a move that stands to protect and create jobs, boost the local economy and reduce diesel emissions, EPA has awarded more than $1.56 million to the Chelsea Collaborative under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) to provide electrical re-powering units for stationary cold storage trailers at the New England Produce Market in Chelsea, Mass. – one of the biggest produce distribution centers in the U.S.

The project will have dramatic positive effects, including annual savings of 484,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 398,000 lbs. of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions (a precursor to smog), 61,000 tons of particulate matter emissions, and 215,000 lbs. of hydrocarbon emissions. The reduced air pollution will have significant, immediate benefits to the surrounding area – a densely populated “environmental justice” area that has chronically been categorized as an “ozone non attainment area,” i.e., an area suffering from chronic smog, typically in warm summer months. An estimated 20 manufacturing, design and installation jobs will be supported by the project. The Market will save approximately $500,000 per year in energy expenses.

Announcing the funding was EPA’s Deputy Administrator, Bob Perciasepe, visiting from Washington, D.C. “With the help of $1.5 million in Recovery Act funds, the New England Produce Market – one of the largest distribution centers in the U.S. – is cleaning up the air and keeping the economy moving,” said Perciasepe. “Moving away from diesel fuel to electrical power will make the air cleaner for workers and neighbors, eliminating costly health threats while strengthening the local economy. This investment in the produce center will help feed both the local and national economic recovery and make Chelsea a healthier place to live.”

EPA is also awarding an additional $367,000 under the Recovery Act to the Chelsea Collaborative to retrofit City of Chelsea vehicles and implement other strategies to reduce diesel emissions in Chelsea.

"Investing in Clean Diesel projects through the Recovery Act is a down payment on protecting health, improving air quality, helping the economy and creating jobs in our communities," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "New England has some of the highest rates of asthma in the country. By reducing diesel emissions - especially in urban areas like Chelsea - we are helping thousands of our neighbors to breathe easier."

Further, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is applying $200,000 for this effort, which was part of a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) stemming from a June 28, 2010 settlement with Exxon-Mobil over the Commonwealth’s allegations that the company violated the state’s air pollution laws at its bulk gasoline terminals in Everett and Springfield.

“MassDEP’s efforts to improve air quality in the Chelsea area include a $200,000 contribution from ExxonMobil that resulted from environmental violations uncovered at their Everett terminal,” said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. “These funds will perfectly complement the Recovery Act funds announced today and help the Chelsea Collaborative and the Produce Center board of directors complete this important environmental project.”

"What we're seeing here today is a Recovery Act award allowing us to bring cutting edge clean energy practices to very traditional services, such as the food industry," said Jeffrey Simon, Director of the Massachusetts Recovery and Reinvestment Office. "These funds will create new jobs and keep people in this community at work, while also ensuring that Massachusetts companies continue to lead the country in environmentally sound practices."

“The Chelsea Collaborative and the Board of Directors of NE produce center are extremely grateful that EPA is investing significant ARRA funds to improve Chelsea's air quality. Our community has some of the most compromised public health due in large part to environmental insults. The ARRA funds will help us achieve major air quality improvements and will help bring about environmental justice to Chelsea,” said Roseann Bongiovanni, Associate Executive Director of the Chelsea Collaborative.

The funds are provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 1 alone received over 30 grant applications requesting $35.8 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The awards announced today were chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions. In addition to helping to create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects will reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year.

The Recovery Act allotted the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) a total of $300 million, of which the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program received $156 million to fund competitive grants across the nation. The Recovery Act also included $20 million for the National Clean Diesel Emerging Technology Program grants and $30 million for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program grants.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.

More information:

- EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in New England (http://epa.gov/region1/eparecovery/index.html)

- EPA’s clean diesel initiatives (www.epa.gov/cleandiesel)

- Massachusetts Recovery Act information (http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=stimhomepage&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Fstim)

- Chelsea Collaborative (http://chelseacollab.org/)

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