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EPA Awards $556,650 to Help Massachusetts Marine Vessels Reduce Diesel Emissions

Release Date: 11/20/2013
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Nov. 20, 2013) – Two Massachusetts projects have been awarded more than a half-million dollars under a competitive national grant competition to reduce diesel emissions.

The grants, totaling $556,650, were made under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). The funding will assist CLF Ventures, Inc., which is receiving $300,000 to repower the Spirit of Boston; and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), which has been awarded $256,650 to repower eight commercial lobster boats.

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution. 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 two projects awarded fall within areas of Suffolk and Bristol Counties in Mass., both identified by the EPA as having high levels of emissions from diesel engines.

"Reducing diesel emissions is a proven and effective way to improve air quality. Investing in Clean Diesel projects in New England will protect people’s health, improve air quality and help our economy by keeping jobs here in our communities," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “Reducing diesel emissions means cleaner air for everyone, which is especially important for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems.”

The grant to CLF Ventures, Inc. will provide partial funding to repower the Spirit of Boston, a harbor cruise vessel operated out of the Port of Boston, which provides services in and around the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. In partnership with Entertainment Cruises, Inc., this project will replace four unregulated diesel marine engines with cleaner EPA Tier-3 certified marine diesel engines.

“This EPA funding will allow CLF Ventures, Inc. to work with Spirit of Boston’s owners to improve air quality in Boston and beyond. These more efficient engines will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as fuel costs, which makes this investment both an environmental and an economic win,” said Jasmine Tanguay of CLF Ventures, Inc., the non-profit consulting arm of the Conservation Law Foundation.

For their grant, NESCAUM has partnered with the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association to repower eight unregulated diesel marine engines with significantly cleaner EPA Tier-3 and Tier-4 certified marine engines. The vessels benefiting from this grant have various home ports along the North Shore, Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Bay.

“Since 2008, NESCAUM has successfully managed six DERA-funded projects in New England that have reduced emissions from diesel-powered locomotives, marine vessels, and construction equipment. We are excited to collaborate with the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association on this initiative to further our organization’s commitment to assist the Northeast States in meeting air quality goals and protecting public health,” said Arthur Marin, Executive Director of NESCAUM.

These grants will cover up to 40 percent of the equipment and labor costs for each of the marine engine repowers and, once completed, together are expected to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by an estimated 10.69 tons, 0.48 tons, and 14.8 tons, respectively, in addition to conserving over 1,325 gallons of fuel, annually.

These grants are part of nearly $20 million in grant funds being awarded by EPA nationwide for clean diesel projects in 2013.

More information: EPA clean diesel efforts (http://epa.gov/diesel/)

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