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EPA Awards Massachusetts $492,200 for Clean Diesel Projects -- Part of Nearly $2.4 Million State and Federal Grants Funded Across New England

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass – September 25, 2008) - Today, EPA announced the award of $492,200 to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for clean diesel projects across the state. This funding is part of $14.8 million that has been made available this year for State Clean Diesel programs nationally. New England states received nearly $1.6 million from EPA, leveraging an additional $780,000 in state funding. In Mass., $295,320 was awarded by EPA with matching funds of $196,880 from the state.

“I am pleased that Massachusetts continues to demonstrate their commitment to reducing exposure to diesel exhaust by retrofitting and replacing publicly owned vehicles across the state,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “Fleet by fleet, we are helping to provide cleaner air for our children.”

“Earlier this year, Gov. Deval Patrick announced “MassCleanDiesel, Clean Air for Kids,” a comprehensive program to retrofit all school buses in the state,” said MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt. “With this grant from EPA, and matching funds from Massachusetts, we will further implement the MassCleanDiesel program, and be able to address the public health impacts of other diesel sectors, such as commercial trucks and train engines.”

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in urban areas. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states. In Mass., lifetime asthma rates in children are estimated to be 14.6 percent.

MassDEP will use this grant to retrofit publicly owned waste collection vehicles with advanced pollution control technology; retrofit head-end power units on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail locomotives with diesel oxidation catalysts; and fund the incremental cost associated with replacing conventional diesel trucks used in utility or municipal operations with hybrid trucks.

EPA is working collaboratively with the New England states to reduce emissions of harmful diesel exhaust. In 2005, regions 1 and 2 of the U.S. EPA, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the states and territories of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont established the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC). NEDC is a partnership of public and private organizations working to improve air quality by taking action to reduce diesel pollution. Puerto Rico joined in 2007 and the U.S. Virgin Islands joined in 2008. Today, the collaborative combines the expertise of public and private partners in a coordinated regional initiative to reduce diesel emissions and improve public health in the eight northeastern states as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.


More Information:

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Northeast Diesel Collaborative (northeastdiesel.org/)
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EPA’s National Clean Diesel Program (epa.gov/cleandiesel/)

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