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City of New Bedford gets $1 Million for Shore-side Power Electrification Project

Release Date: 07/08/2010
Contact Information: EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1010

(Boston, Mass. – July 8, 2010) – EPA is awarding $1 million to the City of New Bedford’s Harbor Development Commission to install 16 shore-side electric power pedestals on two fishing piers within New Bedford Harbor. In addition, the project will provide up to 100 rebates issued to commercial fisherman to partially offset the cost of purchasing and installing necessary transfer switches to adapt their vessels to receive shore-side power.

"Reducing diesel emissions is an effective way to improve air quality. Fewer diesel emissions helps people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems to breath easier,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “This project will help bring cleaner air to New Bedford residents and visitors alike.”

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.

“The EPA and the New Bedford HDC are partnering to eliminate diesel exhaust from our City’s air. This is a tremendous health benefit to the people of our City. It is economically beneficial to our fishing industry and another green project for New Bedford,” said New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang.

The EPA grant will allow HDC to install 16 new verified marine power pedestals that will provide shore-side electricity to approximately 100 vessels at two piers in New Bedford Harbor. The electrification technology will provide power to vital systems, thereby eliminating virtually all marine engine idling while at berth resulting in significant reductions of annual nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxide (SOx), and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“By having eclectic power, we are making the port greener. The VM’s will be able to run without a generator needed to turn on computers and other vessel operations,” said Captain Paul Lang, Marine Operations Manager for Fleet Fisheries.

The grant will cover 100 percent of the cost of purchase and installation of each pedestal and also provide up to $230,000 in rebates to up to 100 vessel owners to retrofit their vessels with switches to enable the vessel to receive shore-side power.

"The EPA's support of this project enables the Port to upgrade its commercial fishing infrastructure, best serve fishermen, and improve air quality. It is a win for both industry and our environment and we look forward to our partnership with the EPA to bring shore side power to the Port of New Bedford." said Kristin Decas, Director of the Port of New Bedford.

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

More information:

- Diesel emission issues in New England (www.epa.gov/region1/eco/diesel/index.html)

- Northeast Diesel Collaborative (www.northeastdiesel.org)

- EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (www.epa.gov/diesel/)

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