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Blue Skyways to Bring Cleaner Air

Release Date: 06/20/2006
Contact Information: David Bary or Cynthia Fanning at 214-665-2200 or R6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas - June 20, 2006) A consortium dedicated to significantly reducing air pollution in the central United States met at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to discuss over $90 million in clean diesel and renewable energy projects. Blue Skyways partners and communities are creating a network to make air pollution controls more accessible by leveraging funding and sharing technology and professional expertise.

"Our local Blue Skyways partners are committing to take action and help reduce the number of red ozone alert days in the DFW area," Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "Their commitment to help improve air quality is critical to our community's goal for clean air."

Clean air is catching on in Texas and across the heartland of America as 18 new partners and communities were welcomed into the Blue Skyways Collaborative at today's meeting.

The Blue Skyways Collaborative is a group of businesses, communities, and government agencies voluntarily working together to significantly reduce air pollution emissions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as other major urban areas in the central part of the United States. The collaborative is implementing projects that use innovations in diesel engines, alternative fuels and renewable energy technologies to reduce air emissions along major transportation corridors in various sectors, including air, water and rail transportation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Central States Air Resource Agencies (CenSARA) welcomed Texas-based businesses H-E-B Grocery Company, the Peterbilt Motor Company, Wal-Mart Corp., and the cities of Dallas and Houston as new members.

EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford said, "Since the kick-off meeting for the collaborative in Kansas City last February, we can really see interest in Blue Skyways accelerating. That interest will ultimately translate into significant diesel emissions reductions and healthier air."

Other new members include the Port of Houston Authority; East-West Gateway Coordinating Council of Governments, St. Louis area; Capitol Area Council of Governments, Austin area; North Central Texas Council of Governments, Dallas-Fort Worth area; MidAmerican Energy Company; Texas Transportation Institute; Texas General Land Office; Caterpillar Inc.; West Memphis School District, Arkansas; Marion School District, Arkansas; Mid-America Regional Council, Kansas City area; Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; and Earth Biofuels Inc. "BioWillie."

"Texas is proud to be a part of this innovative collaboration between communities, businesses, and governmental agencies to voluntarily promote strategies that will help improve air quality throughout Texas," said Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Larry R. Soward.

The Blue Skyways Collaborative covers ten central states - Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota - and along the borders with Canada and Mexico.

Communities and businesses are encouraged to implement emission reduction projects and apply to become Blue Skyways partners.

More information about the Blue Skyways Collaborative is available at epa.gov/region6/6xa/blue_skyways_collaborative.htm or http://www.blueskyways.org/.

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