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Maine DEP Awarded $746K in Recovery Act Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions and Create Jobs

Release Date: 07/02/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – July 2, 2009) –In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for people across New England, EPA has awarded $746,715 to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) to reduce emissions from twenty-one diesel non-road engines used in material handling operations in Maine.

In addition, ME DEP will partner with the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) to retrofit one highway vehicle with a diesel particulate filter and eight highway trucks with diesel oxidation catalysts. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting air quality in Maine.

"Investing in Clean Diesel projects through the Recovery Act is a down payment on protecting health, improving air quality, helping the economy and creating jobs in our communities," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "New England has some of the highest rates of asthma in the country. By reducing diesel emissions - especially in urban areas - we are helping thousands of our neighbors to breathe easier."

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 1 alone received over 30 grant applications requesting $35.8 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The awards announced today were chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.

This project will achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions through a combination of emissions reduction technologies including engine system replacements, engine overhauls to improve emissions, diesel oxidation catalysts, and diesel particulate filters (DPF) verified by EPA. The combination of proposed technologies are estimated to reduce emissions by 30 tons per year, which includes an average NOx reduction of 17.5%, PM 42%, HC 65%, and CO 54% for the fleet of selected equipment.

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

More information:

- EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in New England (epa.gov/region1/eparecovery/index.html)

- EPA’s clean diesel initiatives (www.epa.gov/cleandiesel)

- Maine Department of Environmental Protection (www.maine.gov/dep/air/mobile/index.htm)

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