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North Carolina Receives Economic Recovery Funding from U.S. EPA to Reduce Diesel Emissions, Create Jobs

Release Date: 04/16/2009
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – Apr. 16, 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 in the State of North Carolina, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.73 million to the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The funding can be used to support clean diesel projects and loan programs to address the nation’s existing fleet of over 11 million diesel engines.

“This is part of the nationwide clean energy transition that is clearing the air and creating millions of jobs across America,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Communities using innovative measures to cut harmful diesel emissions are cutting costs, creating jobs, and keeping people healthy.”

The funds provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 will go to the state's Clean Diesel program. The North Carolina DENR intends to use the ARRA funds to support two activities. The first activity is an expansion of its Mobile Source Emission Reduction Grant program. Under this program, DENR will fund between 10 and 30 retrofit projects, depending on the size and scope of each project. The second activity is the management of two rebate programs designed to reduce idling of trucks operated by small independent trucking companies (5 or fewer trucks) and improving the fuel economy of the diesel fleet by providing rebates for new truck purchases.

“This grant is a great investment in environmental protection and will provide long-term economic benefits for North Carolina,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “This funding will go a long way in helping the state to bolster its economy and protect public health and the environment by creating green jobs that improve air quality.”

These ARRA funds will help trucking companies by investing in clean technologies like auxiliary power units, engine retrofits, more efficient tires, and other measures that not only reduce air pollution, including emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter, but also save on fuel costs.

In addition to helping to create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects would reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year.

Under ARRA’s State clean diesel funding program, $88.2 million is divided equally through a noncompetitive allocation process, meaning that all 50 states and the District of Columbia will receive $1.73 million.

States, local governments, non-profits and tribal agencies can also compete for a portion of $206 million under ARRA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign funding program.

President Obama signed ARRA on February 17, 2009 and has directed that the 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 ARRA in North Carolina, visit http://www.epa.gov/recovery

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