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EPA Awards Vermont $196,880 for Clean Diesel Projects -- Part of Nearly $2.4 Million State and Federal Grants Funded Across New England

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass – September 25, 2008) - Today, EPA announced the award of $196,880 to the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC) for clean diesel projects across the state. This funding is part of $14.8 million that has been made available this year for State Clean Diesel programs nationally. New England states received nearly $1.6 million from EPA, leveraging an additional $780,000 in state funding.

“I am pleased that Vermont continues to demonstrate their commitment to reducing exposure to diesel exhaust by retrofitting and replacing publicly owned school buses across the state,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “Fleet by fleet, we are helping to provide cleaner air for our children.”

DEC Commissioner Laura Pelosi said the generous funding from EPA will expand Vermont’s program, which has already installed idle reduction technologies on two dozen buses. Another two dozen buses are slated to get emission control system retrofits.

“This new funding is a significant boost for our ongoing efforts to reduce Vermonters’ exposure to diesel emissions,” said Pelosi. “Diesel exhaust is dirty and we hope more schools – as well as ambulance and public transit operators – will take advantage of these upgrades.”

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in urban areas. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states. In Vermont, lifetime asthma rates in children are estimated to be 11.4 percent.

VT DEC will use this grant to continue efforts to equip publicly-owned school buses with advanced pollution control technologies, including technologies that reduce unnecessary idling. In addition, this grant will pilot the retrofit of transit buses and/or ambulances with idle reduction technologies, and assist with outreach and education efforts to stakeholders statewide.

EPA is working collaboratively with the New England states to reduce emissions of harmful diesel exhaust. In 2005, regions 1 and 2 of the U.S. EPA, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the states and territories 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 U.S. Virgin Islands.


More Information:

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Northeast Diesel Collaborative (northeastdiesel.org/)
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EPA’s National Clean Diesel Program (epa.gov/cleandiesel/)

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