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EPA Provides the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (ME DEP) $571,638 to Reduce Emissions with Marine Engine Repowers

Release Date: 07/21/2010
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – July 21, 2010) – The EPA recently rewarded $571,638 to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to repower approximately 17 commercial fishing vessels, research vessels, and excursion vessels operating in Maine and New Hampshire waters.

"Reducing diesel emissions is an effective way to improve air quality--one of the seven key priorities of Administrator Jackson. Fewer diesel emissions will help those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems,” said Curt Spaulding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “These projects will help bring cleaner air to the residents of Maine and New Hampshire.”

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.

"This EPA funding allows Maine to reduce toxic particles and greenhouses gases - it also reduces fuel costs for a traditional Maine industry during hard times to allow fishing vessels to save fuel and money," said David Littell, Commissioner of Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

This grant will allow Maine Department of Environmental Protection, in partnership with New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, to install new Tier 2 certified marine diesel engines, resulting in an estimated reduction in annual nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions of 25 and 66 percent, respectively. Additionally, annual fuel use is projected to decrease by approximately 8-12% for each marine engine due to the higher efficiency of the new engines. The grant will cover up to 75% of the cost of each eligible engine repower.

This announcement is part of more than $67 million in grant funds being awarded by the EPA through the 2010 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Other New England entities receiving grants this year include the Town of Fairfield, CT, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), New Bedford Harbor Development Commission, and Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). In addition, under the state clean diesel grant program, EPA recently announced that it is awarding $1.7 million to the New England state environmental agencies for clean diesel projects in New England.

For more information:

Northeast Diesel Collaborative (www.northeastdiesel.org)
EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (www.epa.gov/diesel/)

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