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U.S. EPA Expedites Economic Recovery Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions, Create Jobs in Leon County, Fla.

Release Date: 07/20/2009
Contact Information: Kara Belle, (404) 562-8322, belle.kara@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – July 20, 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 Leon County, Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $347,288 to the Leon County School Board to purchase new compressed natural gas school buses, repower existing school buses, and to develop and provide idle-reduction training in the County. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting Leon County’s air quality.

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

To speed distribution of funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), EPA is funding proposals from last year’s National Clean Diesel Campaign grant competition. The Leon County School Board will use the $347,288 in Recovery Act funds to purchase eight (8) new compressed natural gas school buses, repower six (6) existing school buses with engines that meet EPA's 2010 diesel standards, use geospatial positioning software to streamline bus routing and roads utilization, provide idle-reduction training to county employees, and develop a model program and create training materials to be used by other diesel retrofit programs. The project is anticipated to reduce total life time emissions from these buses by 66.4 tons.

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

EPA will award the remaining Recovery Act clean diesel grants in the coming months.

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 Recovery.gov.

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

For information about EPA’s clean diesel initiatives, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel
For information about Leon County Schools, visit http://www.leon.k12.fl.us/