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EPA Administrator, Stephen Johnson, Announces $26,000 Grant to Reduce Diesel Emissions from Construction Equipment in Portland Metro Area

Release Date: 6/29/2005
Contact Information: Lisa McArther
(206) 553-1814

EPA News Release

June 29, 2005

Portland residents - especially youngsters, the elderly and those with fixed and low incomes - will breathe a little easier in the future, thanks to a $26,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant was announced by EPA Administrator, Stephen Johnson during a visit to Oregon and the Northwest.

The EPA grant was given to the Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) to reduce diesel emissions from construction equipment. The OEC proposes to work with community leaders, businesses, local and state agencies, and other stakeholders to reduce diesel emissions.

"We recognize the knowledge, expertise and commitment of concerned citizens throughout the region and use Regional Geographic Initiative (RGI) funds for these important collaborative opportunities," said Administrator Johnson. "RGI supports multimedia projects that encourage communities to define their own environmental concerns and develop their own solutions."

RGI funds are awarded to support unique, geographic and sector based projects that fill critical gaps in our ability to protect human health and the environment. EPA's evaluation criteria emphasize partnerships, innovation, and the ability to demonstrate environmental results.

"The overall goal of this project is to improve the health of Oregonians in the Portland metropolitan urban area by significantly reducing diesel pollution from construction equipment," said Ron Kreizenbeck, Acting Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10. "In Multnomah County, diesel emissions are reported to be the leading cause of air pollution related cancers, and are a major trigger of asthma and other respiratory illnesses."

This project will focus on a source of diesel pollution, construction equipment, that is currently not being addressed in any systematic way. The federal funds allow Portland to address this problem and protect citizens’ health through locally designed efforts.

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