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South Carolina Receives Economic Recovery Funding from U.S. EPA to Reduce Diesel Emissions, Create Jobs

Release Date: 04/16/2009
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – Apr. 16, 2009) In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for the people in the State of South Carolina, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.73 million to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The funding can be used to support clean diesel projects and loan programs to address the nation’s existing fleet of over 11 million diesel engines.

“This is part of the nationwide clean energy transition that is clearing the air and creating millions of jobs across America,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Communities using innovative measures to cut harmful diesel emissions are cutting costs, creating jobs, and keeping people healthy.”

The funds provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 will go to the state's Clean Diesel Program. South Carolina DHEC will use 50% of the ARRA funds for targeted projects including the installation of 20 multi-stage particulate filters on vehicles owned by the City of Columbia, the installation of 19 diesel particulate filters on trucks in the City of Charleston's waste management fleet, and the installation of 63 diesel oxidation catalysts on bulldozers operated by the South Carolina Forestry Commission.

The remaining 50% of the funds will be awarded through a competitive sub-grants process focusing on diesel emission reductions from off-road diesel equipment. Such projects may include engine repowers, engine upgrades, engine replacements, cleaner fuels or idle reduction technologies. All of the South Carolina projects supported with ARRA funding will reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter.

“This grant is a great investment in environmental protection and will provide long-term economic benefits for South Carolina,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “This funding will go a long way in helping the state to bolster its economy and protect public health and the environment by creating green jobs that improve air quality.”

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.

Under ARRA’s State clean diesel funding program, $88.2 million is divided equally through a noncompetitive allocation process, meaning that all 50 states and the District of Columbia will receive $1.73 million.

States, local governments, non-profits and tribal agencies can also compete for a portion of $206 million under ARRA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign funding program.

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

For information on EPA’s implementation of the ARRA in South Carolina, visit http://www.epa.gov/region4/eparecovery/index.html

For information about EPA’s clean diesel initiatives, visit http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel