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EPA funding to make Pittsburgh trash trucks cleaner

Release Date: 04/25/2008
Contact Information: Terri White 215-814-5523, white.terri-a@epa.gov

PITTSBURGH (April 25, 2008) - Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will enable less-polluting trash trucks to travel through the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

EPA announced today a $127,000 grant to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association who will, in turn, issue a grant to the City of Pittsburgh and two partners for a pilot project to cut emissions from the city's heavy-duty diesel trucks used for hauling waste. Clean Water Action and the Group Against Smog and Pollution are implementing the project with the city.

"Heavy duty trucks are some of the workhorses of cities' infrastructure and public works services," said Donald S. Welsh, mid-Atlantic regional administrator. "This grant will help improve air quality and reduce air pollution from diesel trucks hauling waste in Pittsburgh."

EPA said the grant will provide staff resources and expertise to retrofit eight to 12 diesel trash trucks in Pittsburgh with filters that will reduce air emissions of diesel particles. The grant may also be used to purchase equipment to clean and maintain the filters.

"It is great opportunity to work with our partners on this project in Pittsburgh. This will show how our regional collaborative can help reduce fine particle pollution," said Executive Director of Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association Susan Wierman.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association coordinates the Mid-Atlantic Diesel Collaborative, a partnership of public and private entities in the five Mid-Atlantic States and the District of Columbia who are working together to reduce emissions from diesel engines.

Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Diesel engines in the region emit more than 15 thousand tons of fine particles every year and create 40 per cent of the fine particle emissions from human activity. Fine particles in the air are a serious health problem and can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases.

Today's grant is part of EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign promoting many options for modernizing and upgrading existing diesel fuel and equipment by refueling, retrofitting, repairing and replacing older equipment with new engines or vehicles. EPA and the states are also underway with important anti-idling programs.

EPA's Mid-Atlantic region is currently soliciting proposals for additional projects to reduce diesel emissions in the region. An estimated $3.1 million is available for the deployment of EPA-verified and certified technologies. The deadline for proposals is June 13, 2008.

More information on the diesel collaborative: http://www.marama.org/diesel/index.htm

For more information about EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign see EPA's website: http://www.epa.gov/diesel/.

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