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EPA Awards Connecticut $492,200 for Clean Diesel Projects -- Part of Nearly $2.4 Million State and Federal Grants Funded Across New England

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass – September 25, 2008) - Today, EPA announced the award of $492,200 to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) for clean diesel projects across the state. This funding is part of $14.8 million that has been made available this year for State Clean Diesel programs nationally. New England states received nearly $1.6 million from EPA, leveraging an additional $780,000 in state funding.

In Conn., $295,320 was awarded by EPA with matching funds of $196,880 available as a result of the state's 2007 Clean School Bus legislation.

“I am pleased that Connecticut continues to demonstrate their commitment to reducing exposure to diesel exhaust by retrofitting and replacing school buses across the state,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England Office. “Fleet by fleet, we are helping to provide cleaner air for our children.”

CT DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy said, "Reducing diesel emissions remains a priority for DEP and we appreciate the support of EPA in this effort. The particulate matter and pollution put into the air by diesel engines is a direct threat to the health of our citizens - especially in urban areas. The diesel emissions created by school buses also effect the health and well being of the youngsters who ride those vehicles to school. I can think of no better use for the funds we have available than to take action hat directly benefits children by making their ride to school safer, cleaner and healthier."

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. In Connecticut, lifetime asthma rates in children are estimated to be 13.7 percent.

CT DEP will use this grant - along with funds from its clean school bus program - to equip school buses with advanced pollution control technology. Funding will also be used to provide incentives to schools interested in early replacement or retirement of school buses.

EPA is working collaboratively with the New England states to reduce emissions of harmful diesel exhaust. In 2005, regions 1 and 2 of the U.S. EPA, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and the states and territories of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont established the Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC). NEDC is a partnership of public and private organizations working to improve air quality by taking action to reduce diesel pollution. Puerto Rico joined in 2007 and the U.S. Virgin Islands joined in 2008. Today, the collaborative combines the expertise of public and private partners in a coordinated regional initiative to reduce diesel emissions and improve public health in the eight northeastern states as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.


More Information:

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Northeast Diesel Collaborative (www.northeastdiesel.org)
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EPA’s National Clean Diesel Program (epa.gov/cleandiesel)

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