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EPA Midwest Clean Diesel Leadership Group Presents Awards For Emissions Reductions

Release Date: 07/01/2010
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA042

Chicago (July 1, 2010) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5’s Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Leadership Group recognized people and organizations that have acted to reduce diesel emissions at a June 30 ceremony in Chicago.

The MCDI Leadership Group awards recognize individuals and organizations that are innovators, role models and leaders in reducing diesel emissions through partnership-based projects.

Winners are: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning; Interlake Steamship Co.; Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago; and Brian Mormino, Cummins Inc.

“The award winners have raised awareness about diesel pollution and forged partnerships to achieve the goal of reducing diesel emissions,” said Region 5 Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative Coordinator Steve Marquardt. “The steps they have taken have been significant, measurable and can be replicated.”

Since 2005, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has directed over $72 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funds to clean-diesel projects in Northeastern Illinois. The projects included early implementation of ultra-low sulfur fuel, diesel retrofits for transit buses, school buses and municipal vehicles, genset locomotives and support of the Illinois EPA Chicago area diesel retrofit program. The reductions associated with these projects are estimated to be over 300 metric tons of particulate matter and over 8,000 metric tons of nitrogen oxides.

The Interlake Steamship Co. operates shipping vessels on the Great Lakes. In the past year, the company repowered the main propulsion and auxiliary engines of the Paul R. Tregurtha – the largest vessel operating on the Great Lakes -- a $14 million project. The new engines and energy efficiency improvements are estimated to reduce 236 tons of nitrogen oxides, 295 tons of particulate matter, and over 24,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the ship every year.

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s reservation encompasses over 865,000 acres in northern Minnesota. For the past nine years, the band has taken active steps to reduce air emissions on their lands including holding air quality workshops focused on diesel emissions and reducing emissions from school buses and municipal vehicles though the installation of diesel retrofits and repowers.

The Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago organized and chaired the Illinois Campaign to Clean Up Diesel Pollution group. Projects include development of idle reduction ordinances at the state and local level, support and advocacy for funding of clean diesel projects through congestion mitigation and air quality funds, and working closely with the Illinois EPA in implementing over 100 successful clean diesel projects throughout the state.

Brian Mormino, Director of Energy Policy, Cummins Inc., is a founding co-chair of the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative and was recognized for his efforts over the last several years to develop and implement projects that reduce diesel emissions across the Midwest.

The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative was created to reduce emissions from older, existing diesel engines not covered by EPA’s stringent standards for cleaner fuels and new, cleaner engines. MCDI estimates that more than 3 million diesel engines in the Midwest would benefit from use of diesel retrofit technologies, repowers, replacement, cleaner fuels, idle-reduction and other clean-diesel strategies. Already, the public-private partnership has affected 985,000 engines.

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.

More information on the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative and the MCDI Leadership Group is at http://www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/.

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