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Do You Own a Dirty Diesel Tractor, Forklift or Bulldozer?; You Might Qualify for EPA and New Jersey Funding.

Release Date: 10/08/2008
Contact Information: (for media) Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov; (for public) Melanie Zeman, (212) 637-4022, zeman.melanie@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and New Jersey have slated almost $1 million to fund clean diesel projects across New Jersey. The State received nearly $600,000 from EPA and has leveraged an additional $393,760 in state funding. The funds will be used to retrofit publicly or privately-owned non-road equipment used for construction projects.

“Tractors and bulldozers contribute significantly to air pollution,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “Just one large bulldozer produces 800 pounds of air pollution a year, which is equivalent to the pollution associated with 26 cars. Our regulatory requirements work in tandem with these funds to help clean up the tractors and other equipment that are already operating."

"This combined funding will enhance our ongoing efforts to protect children and families from exposure to harmful diesel emissions," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson. "Municipalities can now partner with the state to improve air quality in our neighborhoods."

Diesel engines spew some 7.3 million tons of nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot annually, which is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days. Non-road construction equipment, such as backhoes, bulldozers and excavators, can be among the dirtiest of diesel engines, releasing large amounts of nitrogen oxides and harmful fine particles into the air. There are approximately 98,000 pieces of non-road diesel equipment in New Jersey.

Today’s announcement represents only a portion of funding for clean diesel projects under the $50 million National Clean Diesel Campaign. The funding, newly available this year, will support grants to help save fuel and lower greenhouse gas and diesel exhaust emissions from the existing fleet of 11 million diesel engines. The EPA’s new heavy-duty highway and non-road diesel engine standards will take effect over the next decade, and will significantly reduce emissions from new engines. The standards, however, apply only to engines manufactured in the year 2007 and beyond. The 11 million diesel engines in use today will continue to pollute unless emissions are controlled with innovative technology and/or cleaner fuels.

EPA is working with New Jersey to reduce emissions of harmful diesel exhaust. In 2005, EPA Region 1, representing the New England states; EPA Region 2, covering New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM); and the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont established the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC). NEDC is a partnership of public and private organizations working to improve air quality by taking action to reduce diesel pollution. Puerto Rico joined in 2007 and the U.S. Virgin Islands joined in 2008. Today, the collaborative combines the expertise of public and private partners in a coordinated regional initiative to reduce diesel emissions and improve public health in the eight northeastern states as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The funding for New Jersey announced today is part of $14.8 million awarded for clean diesel programs across the country.

To learn more about EPA’s clean diesel efforts and the Northeast Diesel Collaborative visit: http://epa.gov/cleandiesel/index.htm#voluntary and http://northeastdiesel.org.

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