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EPA Awards $150,000 Grant to Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission for Clean-Diesel Initiative

Release Date: 03/26/2007
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA041

(CHICAGO, IL - March 26, 2007) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $150,000 grant to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission for a cooperative project to cut emissions from public diesel fleets in central Ohio. An additional $68,924 for the project will come from local sources.

"This multi-group collaboration will kick-start cleanup of air pollution from public diesel fleets in mid-Ohio," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Our hope is that this project will encourage and promote diesel cleanup throughout the state."

The project, called the Mid-Ohio Public Diesel Fleet Initiative, is a partnership of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, the Ohio Environmental Council, the city of Columbus, and the Central Ohio Transit Authority to demonstrate clean-diesel technologies and strategies to reduce diesel emissions.

Initiative members will reach out to communities in mid-Ohio to show what can be done to reduce emissions from diesel engines. Vehicles will be retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts to reduce emissions, hydraulic heaters will be used to keep engines warm in cold weather cutting pollution from idling engines, and cleaner burning biodiesel will be used as fuel.

The grant is part of Region 5's Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative (MCDI), a collaboration of federal, state and local agencies, along with communities, non-profit organizations and private companies, working together to reduce emissions from diesel engines in the Midwest.

MCDI estimates there are more than 3 million engines in the Midwest that would benefit from new pollution-reduction technology.

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

More information on MCDI is at www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel/.

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