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U.S. EPA’s Region 6 Awards $1 Million in Recovery Funding to VIA Metropolitan Transit to Reduce Diesel Emissions and Create Jobs

Release Date: 07/15/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – July 15, 2009) In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for people in and around the City of San Antonio, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1,013,719 to the VIA Metropolitan Transit to upgrade its bus fleet. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting San Antonio area air quality.

“Cleaner diesel means cleaner air,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Lawrence E. Starfield. “With help from the Recovery Act, EPA is funding more clean diesel projects, so people in the San Antonio area can live longer, healthier lives.”

The funds are provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 6 alone received over 60 grant applications requesting more than $180 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The award announced today was chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.

The project will involve replacing the engines in 83 transit buses with lower-emitting engines.

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

The Recovery Act allotted the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) a total of $300 million, of which the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program received $156 million to fund competitive grants across the nation. The Recovery Act also included $20 million for the National Clean Diesel Emerging Technology Program grants and $30 million for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program grants.

In addition, under the Act’s State Clean Diesel Grant program, a total of $88.2 million has been provided to States for clean diesel projects through a noncompetitive allocation process.

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 Texas, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recovery

For information about EPA’s clean diesel initiatives, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

For information about the VIA Metropolitan Transit, visit: http://www.viainfo.net/

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