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EPA awards $50,000 grant to University of Illinois to cut diesel emissions from Champaign-Urbana buses

Release Date: 01/31/2007
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA17

CHICAGO (Jan. 31, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $50,000 grant to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana for a project to cut diesel emissions from local mass transit buses.

EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit four diesel-powered buses with equipment that will reduce diesel emissions in the Champaign-Urbana, Ill., community.

"Buses travel city streets all day, so they are an important target for emission reduction programs," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "While new diesel engines are cleaner-burning, we must act now to cut emissions from older engines that will be around for many years."

The grant is part of Region 5's Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, a collaboration of federal, state and local agencies, along with communities, non-profit organizations and private companies working together to reduce emissions from diesel engines in the Midwest.

MCDI estimates there are more than 3 million engines in the Midwest that would benefit from new pollution-reduction technology.

Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ground-level ozone (smog), which is a lung irritant, and fine particles can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases. Fine particles can also impact lung function and structure.

More information on MCDI is at http://www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/.

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