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EPA Provides $205,000 for Chittenden Solid Waste District to Fund Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles

Release Date: 02/26/2009
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Feb. 26, 2009) – Significant funding is being delivered to a Vermont organization that will fund projects helping improve air quality in the Burlington area.

EPA, through the 2008 Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC) Emissions Reduction Grant Program, is awarding $205,523 to the Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) to replace three diesel vehicles from model years 1994-98 with new compressed natural gas (CNG) models.

Through this grant, CSWD will partner with refuse haulers to facilitate the early replacement of three 1998 and older diesel vehicles with new CNG models. EPA funds will cover up to 25 percent of the cost of the new vehicle.

"Reducing diesel emissions is an effective way to improve air quality and help people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems,” said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “This project will help bring cleaner air to communities in Chittenden County, Vermont, and we applaud the Chittenden Solid Waste District for their efforts to address diesel pollution."

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in urban areas. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravating heart or lung disease. People with existing heart or lung disease, such as asthma, older adults, and children are most sensitive to the health effects of fine particles. 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. Lifetime asthma rates in children in Vermont are estimated to be 11.4 percent.

“The lifetime cancer risk from diesel soot in Chittenden County exceeds the risk of all other air toxics tracked by the EPA combined,” said Tom Moreau, CSWD General Manager. “This grant will help purchase compressed natural gas replacement vehicles for three diesel solid waste collection trucks resulting in reductions in emissions of over 75% and in petroleum fuel consumption of over 27,000 gallons.”

Today’s announcement is part of nearly $2 million in grant funds being awarded by the EPA through the 2008 NEDC Emissions Reduction Grant program. Other New England organizations receiving grants this year include Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Defense Fund, Manchester Transit Authority (NH), the Massachusetts Port Authority, and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM).

The recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) makes available an additional $300 million nationwide under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERA) for grants and loans to help regional, state and local governments, tribal agencies, and non-profit organizations with projects that reduce diesel emissions and create jobs. A Request for Applications will be issued in the coming weeks. ARRA gives preference to projects that can be started and completed expeditiously. Prospective grant applicants should begin preparations now for the upcoming competitions.

NEDC is a partnership of public and private organizations working to improve air quality by taking action to reduce diesel pollution. The NEDC was established in 2005 by Regions 1 and 2 of the U.S. EPA, NESCAUM and the states and territories of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Puerto Rico joined in 2007 and the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2008.

For more information:

Northeast Diesel Collaborative (www.northeastdiesel.org)

EPA
Diesel in New England information (www.epa.gov/region1/eco/diesel/index.html)

National
EPA Clean Diesel Campaign (www.epa.gov/otaq/diesel/grantfund.htm)

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