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Northeast Diesel Collaborative Honors Mass. and Vermont Groups for Reducing Air Pollution

Release Date: 04/12/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 12, 2012) – The Northeast Diesel Collaborative – a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, and private and nonprofit groups – today recognized four organizations for their outstanding leadership and efforts in reducing diesel emissions. The collaborative honored several agencies and organizations from Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont as part of its second annual Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy Leadership Awards Program.

The Northeast Diesel Collaborative, comprising the six New England states, New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, works to reduce diesel emissions, improve public health, and promote clean diesel technology. It brings together the collective resources and expertise of EPA, several state environmental agencies and private sector companies to address emissions from existing diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. 

“Diesel emissions in the northeast continue to pose health risks to the residents of the region.  The demonstrated leadership and efforts put forth by the 2011 award winners will help bring cleaner air and healthier communities to our region,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

“Pollution from diesel engines is linked to asthma, respiratory problems, heart attacks and even premature death, and is especially dangerous to children and the elderly,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Region 2 Administrator. “Reducing air pollution from diesel engines has enormous health benefits and translates directly into fewer hospitalizations, less missed days of work and school and a better quality of life for everyone.” 

The Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy awards are given for outstanding service in reducing air pollution to protect human health and the environment. The winners achieve these goals by taking actions such as retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines, reducing idling from diesel engines, developing education and outreach campaigns to promote diesel emissions reduction and promoting cleaner fuels. 

The 2011 Northeast Diesel Collaborative Breathe Easy Leadership Awardees in New England are:

Leadership Award

Green Space and Recreation Committee, Chelsea Collaborative, Inc.
For the past 16 years, Chelsea Collaborative's Green Space and Recreation Committee (Green Space) has formed public and private sector partnerships in a collaborative effort to protect and restore Chelsea's natural resources.  Improving air quality and reducing resident exposure to diesel pollutants in Chelsea and Everett, MA, two communities that receive a disproportionate quantity of air pollution from diesel fleets, has been a primary objective in this effort. In 2010, the Collaborative, partnering with the New England Produce Center, replaced 98 diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRU) used for extra cold storage with electrically-powered units at one of the largest produce distribution centers in the country. An additional project partnership installed diesel emission reduction technologies on fleet equipment at the Chelsea Fire Department, the Chelsea Public Works Department and the Eastern Mineral Salt Dock. Combined, both projects are projected to remove 34 tons of nitrogen oxide, 5.7 tons of particulate matter, and reduce fuel use by an estimated 275,000 gallons while saving an estimated $500,000 in operational costs. “The Chelsea Collaborative Green Space & Recreation Committee is deeply appreciative of this recognition from the Northeast Diesel Collaborative,” said Roseann Bongiovanni, Associate Executive Director of the Collaborative.  “It is an honor to receive this award for our work and the committee looks forward to further reducing diesel emissions in the community and region through similarly innovative and mutually supportive community-based and business-friendly partnerships.”  More information on the
Chelsea Collaborative Green Space & Recreation Committee (http://chelseacollab.org/program/greenspace)

Leadership Award (Honorable Mention):

Casella Waste Systems, Inc.
In 2010, Casella Waste Systems (CWS) partnering with Chittenden Solid Waste District and with funding from EPA’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, replaced three diesel refuse trucks introducing the first of its compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered fleet of collection vehicles serving Chittenden County, VT. To accommodate the new technology and maintain the reliability of the new CNG vehicles, CWS refurbished its maintenance garage and constructed a CNG fueling station at its transfer station in Williston. "We are proud to service thousands of neighborhoods throughout the northeast,” said John Casella, Chairman and CEO of CWS. “Transitioning our fleet to run on clean, quiet, domestic fuel is just one more way for us to contribute to the health of our communities." Since the initial CNG replacement project, CWS has added four more CNG collection vehicles to the Williston fleet, for a total of seven vehicles furthering the company's ongoing effort to reduce its carbon footprint and improve air quality.  More information on the
Chittenden Solid Waste District's CNG fleet (http://www.cswd.net/)

In the New York metropolitan area, a Breathe Easy Leadership Award was given to Port Commerce Department, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for developing and implementing a “Clean Air Strategy for the Port of NY & NJ.”  The Transportation Clean Air Measures Program, North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority received an Honorable Mention for proactively advancing an innovative Transportation Clean Air Measures (TCAM) program.

More information: Clean Diesel efforts in the Northeast: http://www.northeastdiesel.org

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