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EPA awards $103,297 grant to Cook County, Ill., for clean-diesel project

Release Date: 03/24/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA045

(Chicago, Ill. - March 24, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $103,297 grant to the Cook County, Ill., Department of Environmental Control for a project to cut diesel emissions from the county's vehicles.

EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit at least 30 vehicles with equipment that will reduce diesel emissions. It is estimated that at least 26 vehicles will be retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts, and four vehicles will be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters.

In addition, the county will seek to partner with various organizations to heighten public awareness of the issues surrounding vehicle emissions and provide information and tools to aid them in becoming partners for clean air.

"EPA is working with Cook County to upgrade its vehicles and to increase public awareness of problems caused by diesel emissions," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Reducing these emissions will help us all breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives."

The grant was provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, a collaborative of government, industry and non-profit organizations to reduce diesel emissions in the Midwest. More information on the initiative is at http://www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.

Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ozone (smog), which is a lung irritant, and fine particles can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases. Fine particles can also affect lung function and structure.


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