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Maryland Showcases How $1.73 Million in Recovery Funds Will Tackle Diesel Pollution

Release Date: 05/14/2009
Contact Information: : Bonnie Smith, EPA, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov Dawn Stoltzfus, MDE,410-537-3003, dstoltzfus@mde.state.md.us Richard Scher, Md. Port Admin., 410-385-4480, rscher@marylandports.com

PHILADELPHIA (May 14, 2009) - - Maryland's ability to reduce diesel pollution got a boost today with the announcement of $1.73 million in Recovery funding to the state. Against the backdrop of the Port of Baltimore, federal and state officials touted the benefits to the people of Maryland including green jobs and better air quality.

"Maryland is already tackling diesel pollution with projects that are lessening emissions from school and transit buses, municipal fleets, trucks and port equipment," said James W. Newsom, acting deputy administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mid-Atlantic region. "This funding from EPA will create jobs and power air quality improvements that are needed to protect people and the environment."

"Each year, diesel vehicles produce 46,000 tons of soot emissions in Maryland," said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Shari T. Wilson. "Reducing diesel emissions reduces air pollution and benefits our health. This recovery funding from EPA will help reduce diesel emissions from marine vessels, construction equipment, school buses, drayage trucks, and idling vehicles -- which will in turn cut down on harmful air emissions and reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases."

Reducing diesel emissions is a national priority for protecting the public’s health. That's why EPA established the National Clean Diesel Campaign, which awards funding to states each year for clean diesel projects. This new Recovery funding will enable Maryland to support more clean diesel projects across the state. The various kind of technologies to cut diesel emissions will include replacement of old diesel engines with cleaner-burning engines, retrofitting vehicles and equipment with filters to reduce particulates, closed crankcase ventilation filtration devices, and projects to lessen the idling of buses.

"The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) is proud to participate with our federal and state partners today to improve Maryland's air quality and make our state a better place to live," said MPA Deputy Executive Director M. Kathleen Broadwater. "The MPA will continue to identify new and innovative ways to make the Port of Baltimore and its properties environmentally responsible through stewardship activities, as well as preservation, protection and habitat development."

The diesel-powered dredging equipment demonstrated today by the Maryland Port Administration and Maryland Environmental Service has been retrofitted with diesel particulate filters to cut emissions by more 90 percent. These retrofits were accomplished through a 2008 clean diesel grant from EPA.

In Baltimore, retrofitted city garbage trucks, and school and transit buses are helping improve air quality thanks to an EPA clean diesel grant to Maryland’s Department of the Environment.

Diesel engines power the movement of goods across the nation; help construct the buildings in which we live and work; help build the roads on which we travel; and carry millions of children to school each day. While diesel engines provide mobility and are critical to the nation’s economy, exhaust from diesel engines contains pollutants which are harmful to people and the environment.

In addition to helping create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects will help reduce premature deaths, asthma and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and other health impacts.

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 Maryland, visit http://www.epa.gov/recovery .

For information about EPA’s mid-Atlantic region's clean diesel program visit the website at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/diesel/index.htm.