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EPA Gives New Jersey $2.1 Million to Fight Diesel Pollution

Release Date: 09/21/2006
Contact Information: Elias Rodriguez (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

(NEW YORK, NY) Advancing its work to protect America’s air, promote energy efficiency, and improve cooperation with state and local partners, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded $2.1 million in grants for New Jersey’s efforts to reduce emissions from diesel engines. Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator, appeared in Newark with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson and other dignitaries to announce the grant, which will improve air quality through voluntary efforts.

“Now, when truckers, shippers and haulers ‘go green’ they can make green as well,” said Alan J. Steinberg, Regional Administrator. “These diesel emission programs will work toward the reduction of harmful air pollutants, while conserving fuel costs and consumption – meeting both of President Bush’s challenges to accelerate the pace of environmental protection while maintaining our economic competitiveness. The vital funds we are announcing today will help jumpstart the freight industry’s efforts to cut diesel emissions in a way that embodies the public-private partnership theme that runs through many of EPA’s successful voluntary programs, including the SmartWay Transport Partnership program.”

The grants for reducing diesel emissions complement New Jersey’s existing program which includes a three minute idling law and a mandatory retrofit initiative affecting 40,000 vehicles in the state,” said DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson. “Diesel pollution is a serious threat to public health affecting children and adults. By taking action to control pollution from trucks and buses, we can reduce the amount of harmful soot in the air that we breathe.”

“As our cargo volumes continue to rise at near double-digit levels, we have remained vigilant to protect the environmental resources that we may impact. This federal grant will complement our extensive environmental programs by reducing diesel emissions from trucks that travel throughout the Port District, and will supplement efforts by our private port tenants to reduce emissions from their on-terminal vehicles,” said Rick Larrabee, Director, Port Commerce Department - Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The $2.1 million dollar grant will fund four distinct initiatives:

Truckers’ Challenge: On-board Idle Reduction Devices ($750,000) An innovative trucking industry endeavor to fund the purchase of alternative energy sources and equipment to reduce idling and help truckers save on fuel costs. NJDEP will work with the EPA and a New Jersey based trucking association that represents short haul motor carriers to fund the purchase of auxiliary power units or bunk heaters.

Idle-Free Corridor: NJ Turnpike Truck Stop Electrification Project ($1,000,000) This project will expand the infrastructure for truck stop electrification in New Jersey by electrifying parking spaces at a truck stop along the NJ Turnpike. Trucks that utilize this technology will avoid the emissions and fuel costs associated with truck idling their engines when parked for long durations.

Diesel Risk Reduction Project: Analysis of In-Cabin School Bus Emissions ($215,000) This study will determine how effective retrofits are in reducing fine particle pollution on the inside of school buses. The results of the analysis will provide scientific direction for an upcoming legislated statewide mandatory retrofit program for certain diesel vehicles, including school buses.

Idling Minimization Outreach Project ($135,000) This outreach campaign will discourage unnecessary idling of engines throughout New Jersey, particularly targeting the trucking industry. The outreach campaign will, for the first time, focus on idling transit buses and personal cars at the state’s numerous tourist attractions. The campaign will also train police in New Jersey on how to effectively enforce the state’s three minute limit for engine idling.

These and other projects are possible due to collaborative efforts like the Northeast Diesel Collaborative, a partnership of EPA and private, non-profit and government groups in New York, New Jersey and the six New England states working together to fight air pollution. The Collaborative is reducing diesel emissions through innovative, first-in-the-nation pilot projects, laws, voluntary measures, and mandatory program targeting the primary sectors contributing to diesel emissions in the Northeast, such as trucks, buses, construction equipment, marine engines and locomotives. The Collaborative members include EPA, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), and the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

EPA has consistently identified diesel emissions as a significant source of pollution and a risk to public health. Fine particle pollution is a mixture of microscopic solids and liquid droplets suspended in air. Particulate matter or PM refers to particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets. Particles can be suspended in the air for long periods of time. Some particles are large or dark enough to be seen as soot or smoke. Others are so small that individually they can only be detected with a microscope. The come from a variety of sources such as cars, trucks, buses, factories, construction sites, unpaved roads and burning of wood.

For more information on how to reduce diesel emissions, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/SmartwayLogistics/idlingalternatives.htm and http://www.northeastdiesel.org

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