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EPA Awards $60,000 to Town of Trumbull, Connecticut to Purchase Clean Trash Trucks that Run on Compressed Natural Gas

Release Date: 02/23/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

David Deegan, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017


For Immediate Release: February 23, 2005; Release # srdd050202

BOSTON - To help reduce pollution from diesel vehicles, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is awarding a grant of $60,000 to the Town of Trumbull, Connecticut to replace the diesel engines of three waste collection trucks with compressed natural gas (CNG) engines.

"These funds will assist the Town of Trumbull in their efforts to reduce pollution from vehicles that travel throughout the community, helping to make the black puff of smoke that comes from diesel engines a thing of the past.," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "I am pleased that Trumbull will be able to help reduce exposure to diesel exhaust by converting three trash trucks to clean burning compressed natural gas."

This grant is part of EPA's Clean Diesel Campaign which consists of both regulatory and voluntary efforts to reduce emissions from new and existing diesel engines by 2014. An important component of the campaign aims to promote voluntary emissions reductions of existing fleet through retrofits, engine replacement, cleaner fuels, reduced idling and other pollution-cutting measures. As part of a 2004 clean diesel retrofit grant competition, EPA received 83 applications from across the country.

Trumbull will receive $60,000 and contribute significant matching funds to replace the diesel engines of three trash trucks with engines powered by compressed natural gas. Vehicles powered by natural gas perform just like vehicles powered by diesel fuel and can reduce emissions of particulate matter by up to 90 percent. The majority of natural gas consumed in the United States comes from sources within North America. Increased use of clean, domestically produced fuels helps reduce our reliance on oil from overseas, which is good for our nation's energy security.

EPA is also awarding grants to two other New England organizations.The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) and the City of Cambridge, in collaboration with MIT will receive $82,800 and $83,467, respectively, to significantly reduce pollution from over 65 diesel vehicles.

In May 2004, EPA made available $1.6 million in grant funds for diesel retrofit projects to benefit sensitive populations - children, the elderly, and the chronically ill - who are more susceptible to the effects of diesel exhaust. All six of the New England states have childhood asthma rates above 10 percent. In Connecticut, the lifetime childhood asthma rate is 13 percent. Diesel exhaust contains small particles that can cause lung damage and aggravate conditions like asthma and bronchitis. EPA has determined that diesel exhaust is a likely human carcinogen, and can contribute to other acute and chronic health effects.

These grants will add to the suite of activities underway across New England to address pollution from diesel engines. Numerous businesses, government agencies, and others are working collaboratively to find innovative ways to reduce pollution from transportation and construction.

The following list is a sample of pollution-reducing transportation initiatives already underway in Connecticut:

    • The Connecticut Department of Transportation requires off-road construction equipment to be retrofitted with pollution control devices on the I-95 New Haven Harbor Crossing Corridor Improvement Program;
    • School buses in Norwich and New Haven are using advanced pollution controls and being fueled with ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel;
    • Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection is providing anti-idling information to school bus drivers to help reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust.
More information about clean transportation projects in New England is available at: www.epa.gov/ne/eco/diesel

Related Information:
Massport, City of Cambridge & MIT
Diesel Retrofit Grants
and Clean Diesel
Campaign Announced

(EPA HQ)

Diesel Exhaust