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EPA Grant Helps South Carolina and North Carolina Promote State Clean Diesel Grant Programs

Release Date: 10/23/2008
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(Atlanta, GA – October 23, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4, as part of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative, presented grant awards of $295,320 each to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources to establish state diesel emission reduction grant programs. These funds were awarded under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and will include a portion matched by the state to fund the program to a total of $492,200. With this funding, diesel emissions are expected to be reduced by over 100 tons by the end of the useful life of the diesel engines affected.

EPA is proud to recognize the efforts of both North and South Carolina to improve air quality and protect public health,” said Jimmy Palmer, EPA Regional Administrator. “Emissions from diesel engines are a serious public health threat and environmental challenge, as well as a priority for EPA.”

South Carolina has been a regional leader in promoting retrofits under the Clean School Bus USA program and for groundbreaking work with the Port of Charleston in clean diesel. North Carolina has been a leader in innovative air quality funding programs with their State Mobile Source Emission Reduction Grant program and in supporting the clean construction program in the Charlotte/Mecklenburg County area. Both states have promoted the use of clean renewable fuels as another emissions reduction strategy.

Congress appropriated $50 million under DERA in 2008, which was allocated for a variety of diesel reduction programs. A portion of this funding was set aside for state programs. North Carolina and South Carolina are two of 8 states being awarded in the Southeast this year. These grants will be used to fund a combination of retrofit technologies that will include closed crankcase ventilation systems and diesel particulate filters.

Since 2002, EPA has invested about $5.5 million dollars to reduce diesel emissions in the Southeast; however, we have been able to leverage over $200 million dollars in additional investment through state, local and private sector investments. The goal of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative is to improve air quality and public health by reducing emissions from existing diesel engines. For more information visit the Southeast Diesel Collaborative website at www.southeastdiesel.org.