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U.S. EPA Awards $1.13 Million Grant to West Coast Non-profit to Help Truckers Save Fuel, Improve Air Quality

Release Date: 09/24/2008
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248, chavez.wendy@epa.gov

Program will save $10 million in fuel costs, reduce 28,000 tons of carbon dioxide

SAN FRANCISCO – Under the 2005 Energy Policy Act’s landmark clean diesel legislation, U.S. EPA Pacific Southwest Administrator Wayne Nastri today awarded $1.13 million in a first of-its-kind grant to Cascade Sierra Solutions to help the non-profit lower thousands of truckers’ fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diesel pollution.

The Coburg, Ore.-based non-profit will use the $1.13 million EPA grant, and leverage an additional $17.1 million, to provide below-market interest rate loans to truckers, allowing them to install idle reduction technologies on more than 1,700 trucks.

“Reducing emissions from diesel engines is one of the most important air quality challenges facing the country,” said Nastri during a ceremony to award the grant. “As a result of this innovative financing program, Cascade Sierra Solutions will lead the way by helping thousands of truckers save fuel, save money and improve air quality up and down the West Coast.”

Under the program, truckers will save approximately $10 million in fuel costs per year, or over 2.5 million gallons of diesel fuel per year -- and at the same time reduce 28,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 32 tons of particulate matter, and 630 tons of nitrous oxides per year.

Diesel engines emit some 7.3 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot annually, which is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days.

Cascade Sierra Solutions was formed in 2006, and received a $200,000 EPA grant, through the West Coast Collaborative, to bring fuel-saving, cost-saving and environmentally-beneficial technology to the heavy-duty diesel truck fleet along the West Coast. To date, they’ve worked on over 1,500 trucks, saving 2.7 million gallons of fuel and reducing CO2 emissions by more than 27,000 metric tons.

The non-profit showcases and installs equipment that conforms to the EPA’s SmartWay guidelines, which results in increases in efficiency and reductions in emissions through aerodynamics, weight reduction, fuel efficient tires and exhaust filtering. CSS also opened its first outreach center in California today, and has two other centers in Oregon.

In addition to CSS, two other organizations were also awarded a total of $2.27 million today under the same program: Community Development Transportation Lending Services of Washington, D.C., and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association of Grain Valley, Mo.

Today’s announcement is the first $3.4 million in funding for clean diesel projects under the $50 million National Clean Diesel Campaign. The funding, newly available this year, will support grants to help save fuel and lower greenhouse gas and diesel exhaust emissions from the existing fleet of 11 million diesel engines.

As part of the funding, $14.8 million is available for state clean diesel programs. All fifty states will receive a grant from the EPA for clean diesel activities this year, and 35 states will match resources toward the program. Another $27.6 million in grants will also be made available by the agency’s ten regional offices in late fall. In addition, awards for grants for emerging technologies totaling approximately $3.4 million will be announced in the winter.

The EPA’s new heavy-duty highway and nonroad diesel engine standards will take effect over the next decade, and will significantly reduce emissions from new engines. However, the standards apply only to engines manufactured in the year 2007 and beyond. The 11 million diesel engines in use today will continue to pollute unless emissions are controlled with innovative technology and/or cleaner fuels. The EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign assists fleets with controlling diesel emissions from the 11 million diesel engines with financial and technical assistance.

For more information on the National Clean Diesel Campaign, visit http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel . For more information about fuel savings and reducing the carbon footprint of vehicles, and for loan application information, visit the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership at http://www.epa.gov/smartway

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