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U.S. EPA Region 7 Awards $1 Million in Recovery Funding to Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department to Reduce Diesel Emissions and Create Jobs

Release Date: 07/15/2009
Contact Information: David Bryan, 913-551-7433, bryan.david@epa.gov


Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., July 15, 2009) - In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for people of the State of Nebraska, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1 million to the Lincoln-Lancaster Health Department for the Lincoln-Lancaster County Clean Diesel Project to reduce diesel emissions in the community. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting air quality in the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County.

The funds are provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 7 alone received 34 grant applications requesting almost $92.2 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The award announced today was chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.

"These Clean Diesel grants provide an excellent opportunity to upgrade diesel fleets while improving local air quality," said William Rice, Acting Regional Administrator. "They also allow local businesses needed work, thus increasing regional economic stability."

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Clean Diesel Project proposes to retrofit a total of 196 publicly owned diesel vehicles and equipment including both on-road and non-road city-owned vehicles, emergency generators and public school buses. In addition, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) has partnered with Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad to repower eight switch engines. Finally, LLCHD has secured partnership with a local cement company to retrofit heavily used cement mixers. LLCHD targeted vehicles and projects that are in environmental justice communities and therefore will provide significant health benefits to the most sensitive populations in the area.

In addition to helping to create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects would reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year.

The Recovery Act allotted the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) a total of $300 million, of which the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program received $156 million to fund competitive grants across the nation. The Recovery Act also included $20 million for the National Clean Diesel Emerging Technology Program grants and $30 million for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program grants.

In addition, under the Recovery Act’s State Clean Diesel Grant program, a total of $88.2 million has been provided to states for clean diesel projects through a noncompetitive allocation process.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at http://www.recovery.gov.

For information on EPA’s implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in Region 7, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recovery.