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EPA, partners announce diesel vehicle retrofit program: City and County of Honolulu, Grace Pacific “cleaner” vehicles to be demonstrated

Release Date: 06/24/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

HONOLULUToday at the City and County of Honolulu’s Alapai Bus Facility, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region Air Division Director Deborah Jordan announced accomplishments of a diesel engine retrofit program.

The diesel engine retrofit program’s goal is to reduce diesel air emissions from vehicles and engines for both highway and non-road vehicles operated by public and private organizations, including the City and County of Honolulu, the Board of Water Supply, the state Department of Transportation, Grace Pacific Corp., and Aiwohi Brothers.

“Even in clean areas, exposure to diesel emissions can lead to chronic respiratory problems and premature death,” said Jordan. “I congratulate the City and County of Honolulu, Grace Pacific, the state of Hawaii, and the many other partners for showing true leadership in this field and encouraging retrofits across the state.”

The program specifically identified fleets that could meet retrofit requirements, profiled the equipment needed, developed a purchasing process for the parts and equipment, and provided training for installation and maintenance to continue the program. Over 75 vehicle retrofits have been installed with more planned in the coming years.

“Honolulu is a city blessed with excellent air quality,” said City and County of Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. “As the Brookings Institute recently reported, Honolulu has the smallest carbon footprint of any major American city. We can, however, and we must do more to reduce the harmful emissions from our vehicles. We pride ourselves on leading by example, and the diesel retrofit program demonstrates our commitment to being part of a solution along with our partner at the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency. Public health and safety is a mayor’s highest priority, and the diesel retrofit program will help reduce the health risks to our island’s residents.”

The $800,000 diesel retrofit program is funded from a supplemental environmental project agreed to by Chevron U.S.A., Inc., as part of a settlement for enforcement actions. This included $300,000 from an action brought by the EPA and $500,000 from an action brought by the Hawaii Department of Health.

The EPA also announced that the Hawaii Department of Health’s Clean Air Branch will participate in the State Clean Diesel Grant Program to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions. The effort, which helps states build programs to reduce diesel emissions, is part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign and the West Coast Collaborative, which grant funds to eligible partners for building diesel emission reduction programs across the country to improve air quality and protect public health.

The EPA and its partners will also be holding a West Coast Collaborative meeting on June 25, at the Oceanic Institute to discuss current projects, success stories and future projects to improve air quality in Hawaii.

For more information on the National Clean Diesel Campaign and the West Coast Collaborative, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/ and http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org.

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