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EPA Announces $5.4 million for New Clean Diesel Projects in the Northeast

Release Date: 03/17/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – March 17, 2008) – Nearly $5.4 million in grants and innovative financing are available to Northeastern communities and organizations working to significantly reduce diesel emissions and improve public health.

Today, EPA's Regions 1 and 2 issued the 2008 Northeast Diesel Collaborative Emissions Reduction Request for Proposals from regional, state and local governments, federally recognized tribes, port authorities, environmental organizations, colleges and universities, hospitals, and others interested in establishing innovative projects to reduce diesel emissions in their communities.

“Reducing emissions from diesel engines is one of the most important air quality challenges facing New England,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. ”Fleet by fleet, we are making the black puff of smoke from diesel vehicles a thing of the past.”

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in urban areas. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states.

The Northeast Diesel Collaborative (NEDC) is a partnership of public and private organizations working to improve air quality by taking action to reduce diesel pollution. The NEDC was established in 2005 by the U.S. EPA's Regions 1 and 2, the "Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management" (NESCAUM) and the states and territories of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Puerto Rico joined in 2007.

Today’s request for proposals makes approximately $5.4 million available for clean diesel projects in the eight northeastern states - including Tribal lands belonging to the federally recognized tribes in these regions, or the territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Projects can involve cleaner fuels, idle reduction, and retrofit technology for a range of diesel engines, including school and transit buses, port equipment and construction vehicles.

EPA will host two Question and Answer sessions via teleconference on April 10 from 10:00 am to 12 noon and May 7 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM to answer questions and provide additional information about this funding competition. The call-in number for both sessions is: 866-299-3188. Enter Conference Code: 212 637 3745# .

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