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U.S. EPA’s Region 6 Awards $5.8 Million in Recovery Funding to Houston to Reduce Diesel Emissions and Create Jobs

Release Date: 07/15/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – July 15, 2009) In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for people in and around the City of Houston, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $5.8 million to a combination of clean diesel projects by the City of Houston and the Port of Houston Authority. These clean diesel projects will create jobs while protecting the Houston area’s air quality.

“Cleaner diesel means cleaner air,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. “With help from the Recovery Act, EPA is funding more clean diesel projects, so people in Houston can live longer, healthier lives.”

The funds are provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 6 alone received over 60 grant applications requesting more than $180 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The awards announced today were chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.

The Port of Houston Authority will receive a total of $3,468,132 for projects that will promote the use of advanced emission reduction and energy efficient technologies as well as replacement of cargo handling equipment and the repowering of the Sam Houston marine vessel. Both projects are part of the port’s Clean Air Strategy Plan.

The City of Houston will receive $2,365,710 for its project to remove some of the city’s oldest, and highest polluting, vehicles and equipment from various departments and replace them with newer and cleaner-running vehicles.

In addition to helping to 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 Texas, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recovery

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

For information about the City of Houston and the Port of Houston Authority, visit: http://www.houstontx.gov/ and http://www.portofhouston.com/

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