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EPA awards $76,455 grant to Minnesota Environmental Initiative for clean-diesel project

Release Date: 04/10/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA054

CHICAGO (April 10, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $76,455 grant to the Minnesota Environmental Initiative for a project to cut diesel emissions from loading equipment at four port facilities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

EPA said the project will retrofit four wheel loaders with emission-reduction equipment and provide an engine upgrade on another wheel loader. Idle-reduction equipment will be installed on all of the wheel loaders.

The wheel loaders are used at four port terminals along the Mississippi River. Two facilities are just south of downtown St. Paul, one facility is on the south side of downtown St. Paul, and one is on the north side of Minneapolis. The equipment is used to move sand, aggregates, crushed limestone and stone.

"EPA is working with Minnesota Environmental Initiative to upgrade vehicles and to increase public awareness of problems caused by diesel emissions," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Reducing these emissions will help us all breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives."

MEI's Clean Air Minnesota program will run the project as part of its Project Green Fleet, a voluntary partnership to achieve significant, measurable reductions in air pollution from school buses and other diesel fleets.

The grant was provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, a collaborative of government, industry and non-profit organizations to reduce diesel emissions in the Midwest. More information on the initiative is at www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.

Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ozone (smog), which is a lung irritant, and fine particles can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases. Fine particles can also affect lung function and structure.

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