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Florida 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 Florida the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.73 million to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 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. The Florida DEP will build upon two existing projects and add an additional project to its clean diesel grant program. The Florida DEP will expand the current school bus retrofit program to provide retrofits to the remaining 56 public school districts in Florida. The reduction of diesel particulate emissions is particularly significant for school children because a student can spend hundreds of hours per year in and around buses. Results from recent studies show that school bus retrofits can reduce “in cabin” concentrations of harmful toxics by 50% or more. This project will reduce emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons from approximately 980 school buses.

In addition, Florida DEP will expand the Clean Diesel Rebate program for truck owners that have purchased and installed an auxiliary power unit on their trucks. Florida DEP will also implement a Green Corridor truck stop electrification project along Florida highways. Both of these latter projects will reduce the need to idle truck engines while drivers rest, thereby saving fuel and reducing pollution.

“This grant is a great investment in environmental protection and will provide long-term economic benefits for Florida,” 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 Florida, visit http://www.epa.gov/region4/eparecovery/index.html

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