Contact Us

Newsroom

News Releases from Region 6

 

Four Groups in EPA Region 6 Receive More than $3.1 Million to Reduce Diesel Emissions

Release Date: 11/29/2011
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Joe Hubbard at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(DALLAS – November 29, 2011) More than $3.1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funds have been granted to four organizations in EPA Region 6 to aid in diesel emissions reductions. The organizations are the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Railroad Research Foundation, Leonardo Academy and Port of Houston Authority. The funds are part of $50 million allocated nationwide through the National Clean Diesel Program’s DERA grant program.

“Reducing diesel emissions is an effective way to improve air quality and protect public health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz. “These projects will help improve our economy, our health and our environment.”

Diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 333,000 tons of soot annually. Diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days.

Through DERA, EPA provides support for retrofits, engine upgrades, vehicle replacements, idle reduction, cleaner fuels and financing for clean technologies for trucks, buses, marine vessels, railroad switch engines and non-road equipment. Overall, the improvements funded by these grants consist of EPA-verified and certified technologies to assist in the reduction of diesel emissions.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council has been selected to receive $991,041 in DERA funds. This project will repower three marine vessels operating throughout the Houston-Galveston and Corpus Christi areas. Seven engines on three old tug boat and harbor craft will be repowered with new, cleaner engine technology.

The Railroad Research Foundation will receive $265,807 in federal funds to install EPA-verified automatic engine start-stop devices on 40 switch engines assigned to key locations in Shreveport, Louisiana. These engines operate all year around the clock, each consuming an average of 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually. Idle reduction technology will reduce fuel consumption by about 7,000 gallons per engine per year or about 280,000 gallons per year for the project.

The Leonardo Academy has been selected to receive $971,090 in DERA funds for clean diesel projects involving Class 8 delivery trucks fleets in Louisiana, Texas and Missouri. Conventional Class 8 tractors will be replaced with new trucks equipped with hybrid-electric or Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) Systems. It is anticipated this project will save 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year and reduce emissions by more than 20 percent. This project will be focused on 40 diesel engines within EPA Regions 6 and 7, with an anticipated improvement in regional and national air quality and increased public health benefits. (EPA Region 7 includes Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska and nine tribal nations. EPA Region 6 includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and 66 tribal nations).

The Port of Houston Authority will receive $943,413 in DERA funds. This is a public/private partnership for “fuel-switching,” which substitutes one type of fuel for a more environmentally friendly fuel, with CMA CGM and the Port of Houston Authority. CMA CGM is a global carrier operating on all the world’s oceans and headquartered in Marseille, France. Marine engines typically operate on bunker fuel with a sulfur content of 2.7 percent. The project will utilize distillate marine diesel fuel with a sulfur content less than or equal to 0.2 percent. It will be used at and within 24 nautical miles of the Texas coast. The project will accelerate the adoption of fuel switching for ocean going vessels in the Gulf of Mexico and will be a significant incentive for reducing emissions in the Houston-Galveston area.

From 2008 to 2010, EPA has awarded nearly $470 million to more than 350 grantees across the nation under the DERA grant program. The grant-supported clean diesel projects have cleaned or replaced more than 50,000 vehicles and equipment nationwide.

More information on the National Clean Diesel Campaign, including a list of grantees is available at http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

More about activities in EPA Region 6 is available at http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.html

EPA audio file is available at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/podcast/nov2011.html

# # #