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$1.4 million awarded to help reduce diesel pollution on West Coast

Release Date: 8/22/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

Announcement includes $211,000 for Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District

  SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today announced $1.4 million in diesel grants. The EPA grants will help leverage over $5.8 million in matching funds to curb diesel pollution as part of the West Coast Collaborative.

Together these grants will fund 16 new Collaborative projects in California, Oregon and Washington. Today's announcement was made during a visit to diesel engine distributor Cummins West in West Sacramento.

"For 35 years, EPA has been providing the American people with cleaner air. However, we would not be where we are today without the help of our partners," said Johnson. "The public-private partnership of the West Coast Collaborative will yield immediate reductions in existing diesel fleet emissions and advance our progress toward cleaner air in our cities, ports and farmland."

The first of these grants, $211,000, was presented to the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District (SMAQMD) for a construction equipment retrofit demonstration project. Another $774,000 in matching funds is being provided from public and industry Collaborative partners, SMAQMD, Cleaire Advanced Emission Controls, a division of Cummins West, Inc. This joint funding will be used to reduce diesel air pollution from 5 pieces of heavy duty equipment such as loaders, backhoes and excavators. The old exhaust stacks will be removed and replaced with the Cleaire emission reducing stack.

"We appreciate our partnership with the EPA to reduce diesel emissions in the Sacramento region through this demonstration project," said Jeff Starsky, Board Chair Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District. "We have been very successful thus far and look forward to continued efforts."

The project will evaluate and report on the success of the retrofit technology and the amount of reductions of particulate matter and other air pollution emissions. Once emissions reductions data are verified, this technology will be eligible under other grant and retrofit programs to be installed on a wide variety of diesel fueled vehicles.

The Sacramento region is currently designated as serious for ozone or smog pollution. Each day in the Sacramento Valley air basin, diesel engines in construction equipment emit into the city's air with nearly 23 tons of nitrogen oxide pollution and 1.4 tons of particulate matter pollution. Reducing diesel pollution will reduce the amount of asthma cases and other upper respiratory illnesses in the greater Sacramento area. It has been demonstrated that health benefits from diesel emissions reductions outweigh the costs by a ratio of 13-1.

"The West Coast Collaborative is a true success using federal funds to leverage more than $15 million in the last year for diesel pollution reduction projects," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "Working together, government, industries and public interest groups, we are proving that shared ideas, shared funding and shared technologies can make a difference in reducing diesel pollution."

Diesel exhaust contributes to elevated levels of smog and particulate matter pollution. The West Coast Collaborative, part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign, is a partnership between leaders from federal, state and local government, private sector and environmental groups in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, Canada and Mexico. This group has joined together and made reducing emissions from diesel engines a priority along the West Coast.

For more information about the West Coast Collaborative go to: