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U.S. EPA Awards $1.1 Million in Recovery Funding to Mecklenburg County, NC to Reduce Diesel Emissions and Create Jobs

Release Date: 06/29/2009
Contact Information: Kara Belle, (404) 562-8322, belle.kara@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – June 29, 2009) In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for people of Mecklenburg County, NC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $1,116,600 to Mecklenburg County to replace and repower diesel engines in the metropolitan area. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting the City of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County’s air quality.

“This grant is a great investment in environmental protection and will provide long-term economic benefits for North Carolina,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “This funding will go a long way in helping to bolster the economy and protect public health and the environment by creating green jobs that improve air quality.”

The funds are provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 4 alone received 98 grant applications requesting more than $140 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The award announced today was chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.

This project will provide funding through sub-grants for 28 or more repowers and 6 or more replacements of non-road construction equipment, stationary diesel engines or highway diesel engines in the 13 county bi-state presumptive nonattainment region for the 2008 ozone standard. This project is estimated to reduce 166 tons of nitrogen oxides, 10 tons of particulate matter, 60 tons of carbon monoxide and 13 tons of hydrocarbons annually.

In addition to helping to create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects would 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 North Carolina, visit: http://www.epa.gov/recovery

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