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Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Remarks on Ohio Recovery Act DERA Grants, As Prepared

06/03/2009
As prepared for delivery.

Every morning, parents in Ohio and across the nation wake up, they get their kids ready for school, and they send them off to catch their bus.

Many of them don’t realize that the very vehicles they send their children to school in – vehicles that come through their neighborhoods every morning – might be exposing their children to harmful diesel emissions.

This is some of our most dangerous and costly air pollution – with links to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks, millions of lost work days and school absences.

So we are here to address those concerns. To help reduce harmful emissions from school buses and other vehicles that people use every day.

And we are doing that in a way that addresses additional concerns felt right now by parents, teachers, and everyone else in Ohio – concerns about our economic recovery.

Today the EPA is investing more than $6 million in Recovery Act funding to advance clean diesel projects throughout Ohio.

Investments will be made in the form of two grants, with $5 million dedicated to clean diesel projects across the state, and $1.1 million for the purchase of clean diesel school buses in Hamilton County.

Through that investment, the Ohio Department of Development will be able to retrofit or replace more than 280 heavy-duty highway and locomotive diesel engines.

Hamilton County will be able to use these funds to replace 60 diesel school buses with cleaner buses in seven of their school districts.

EPA estimates that clean diesel can generate up to $13 of public health benefits for every dollar spent – an amazing return on our investment.

And along with the health and environmental benefits come new economic possibilities.

One school district in Colorado recently retrofitted 120 school buses for clean diesel. Today, they’re saving over $100,000 a year.

That’s money that school districts can put back in the classroom.

Investments will also benefit small and medium-sized trucking companies, who can work in partnership on clean technologies that reduce air pollution and save on fuel costs.

Clean diesel funding will help the manufacturing facilities that create emission control technologies like catalysts and clean engines.

And car dealerships and repair shops will be essential to the proper installation and maintenance of these advanced clean diesel technologies.

This is part of the nationwide clean energy transition that is clearing the air and creating millions of jobs across America. Innovative measures to reduce diesel emissions can cut costs, create jobs, and keep people healthy.

The President is committed to rebuilding this economy and creating a new foundation for prosperity – especially where this downturn has hit the hardest.

EPA is proud to be part of the solution. We’re awarding more than $7 billion in recovery funds for projects that meet our economic and environmental needs.

Not only are those investments creating jobs and putting people to work, they’re making our communities better places to live and more attractive locations for businesses to invest.

In Ohio and anywhere else in the country, we don’t have to choose between a green economy and a green environment.

I look forward to working with all of you in the years ahead as we build our green economy, create new jobs, and safeguard human health and the environment in every community.

Thank you very much.