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EPA Clean Diesel Grant for $975,000 Supports 2nd Ultra-Low Emission Locomotive in Maryland

Release Date: 10/26/2010
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith simth.bonnie@epa.gov (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA (October 26, 2010) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $975,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant to the Maryland Transit Administration to help replace a conventional switcher locomotive engine with ultra-clean generator set (GENSET) locomotive engine technology. The repowered engine will reduce air pollution and improve air quality.

“Stronger standards and diesel retrofit programs are increasing public health protection in communities across the country,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. “Clean diesel is vital in our efforts to protect young and old from pollution linked to asthma attacks, and heart and lung disease.”

EPA and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) were joined by CSX, Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the non-profit Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA).

The GENSET locomotive project announced today is the second of its kind to be funded under EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and operated by CSX at its Curtis Bay Yard in Baltimore. MDOT will oversee the project with CSX, who is matching the federal grant of $975,000 with $425,000 in private funding.

“We are pleased that U.S. EPA has provided incentives to the freight community to be smarter, greener neighbors,” said Caitlin Hughes Rayman, assistant secretary for Transportation Policy and Freight at MDOT. “Together with forward-looking partners like CSX, we will continue to pursue new and innovative ways for transportation to deliver cleaner air to Maryland’s citizens.”

The repowered locomotives made possible through these public-private partnerships are the first to be operated in Maryland. The first project was funded by EPA under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was awarded to MARAMA who worked with CSX. That EPA grant covered 65 percent of the $1.4 million needed to upgrade the locomotive, and CSX contributed the remaining funds as part of its commitment to reducing emissions and using less fuel.

“While Maryland’s air is the cleanest it has been since the Clean Air Act passed, we still need to do more,” MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson said. “Repowering this CSX locomotive with cleaner engines reduces emissions of particulate matter, or soot, by 80 percent -- technology upgrades create and retain jobs and improve air quality.”

GENSET locomotives reduce nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions by approximately 80 percent and can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent through technologies that monitor engine idling and switch to “sleep” mode after a period of inactivity.

“This project is an important contribution to MARAMA’s goal of reducing diesel emissions throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region,” said Susan Wierman, Executive Director of MARAMA. “Reducing diesel emissions has significant public health benefits. Emissions of diesel particulate and nitrogen oxides contribute to pollution not only locally but also downwind. It’s a great project, and we’re gratified that state and local air quality agencies in this region could help make it happen.”

Learn more about EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign at http://www.epa.gov/diesel/
See EPA’s regional diesel website at http://www.epa.gov/reg3artd/diesel/index.htm.