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U.S. EPA awards $500,000 in Recovery Act funding to the Sioux Falls School District to reduce diesel emissions and create jobs

Release Date: 06/26/2009
Contact Information: Rebecca Russo, EPA, (303) 312-6757 Ann Smith, Sioux Falls School District, (605) 367-7923 Laura Niles, EPA, (303) 312-6281

(Denver, Colo. – June 26, 2009) In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for the people of South Dakota, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $500,000 to the Sioux Falls School District. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting South Dakota’s air quality.

“This Recovery Act project is part of an ongoing effort to secure clean diesel technologies for our nation’s school buses, construction and farm equipment, long-haul trucks and other diesel vehicles,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator, Carol Rushin. “This effort will impact dozens of school buses and will reduce air toxic emissions, conserve fuel and help create and maintain jobs throughout the Sioux Falls area.”

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 8 alone received over 37 grant applications requesting $56 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The award announced today was chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.

This project will replace 10 school buses and install 20 Fuel Operated Heaters on school buses in the state of South Dakota. This funding will pay for the full cost of the Fuel Operated Heaters and 50 percent of the cost of the school bus replacements. School Bus Incorporated will be responsible for contributing 50 percent of the cost of the school bus replacements. The primary goal of the project is to reduce school children's exposure to toxic emissions from diesel exhaust. In addition, diesel fuel will be conserved through the use of the Fuel Operated Heaters.

South Dakota will also benefit from a grant of $850,000 awarded to Oregon-based Cascade Sierra Solutions. Cascade Sierra Solutions will use the funds to provide emissions control solutions for the over-the-road diesel trucks based in Montana, Colorado, South Dakota and Utah.

In addition to helping create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects would help to 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.

In addition, under the Act’s State Clean Diesel Grant program, a total of $88.2 million has been provided to States for clean diesel projects through a noncompetitive allocation process.

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.

For information on EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in South Dakota, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recovery.

For information about EPA’s clean diesel initiatives, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.