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U.S. EPA, San Diego Air Pollution Control District, Mexican authorities, kick off diesel reduction in San Diego

Release Date: 9/30/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

West Coast Collaborative event in San Diego, CA SAN DIEGO - At an event announcing a $150,000 grant awarded to the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District for a diesel emissions reduction demonstration project, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined with a consortium of federal, state and local government agencies, non-profits and industry to kick off an unprecedented effort to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives and other diesel sources along the West Coast.

Organized as the West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative, more than 400 interests are working together to find voluntary solutions, incentives and shared approaches to reducing diesel pollution in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska sooner than federally mandated deadlines. Interests from British Columbia and Mexico have also joined this effort.

"The collaborative projects announced today will provide immediate health benefits for residents of the West Coast, especially for our children, said Wayne Nastri, EPA's administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "Replacing old diesel engines with newer, cleaner models -- as well as providing cleaner fuel.will quicken the pace toward the new EPA standards, providing a healthier, cleaner environment for everyone."

"The US - Mexico border is over 2,000 miles long and with approximately 12 million people, many of them children," said Laura Yoshii, EPA?s Deputy Regional Administrator. "Especially now, as we enter Children's Health Month, let us work together to bring to these communities the best air quality possible with the support of today's West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative and programs such as our Border 2012 program which combines the efforts of local, state, and federal agencies in the US and in Mexico."

"Air quality has been improving steadily in this region for decades thanks to the effective control of emissions from industries, motor vehicles, and consumer and commercial products," said Supervisor Greg Cox, a member of the San Diego County Air Pollution Control Board which regulates stationary sources of emissions in the region. "Continual improvement in air quality demands that this region invest in fighting diesel pollution, on both sides of the border. Since air pollution knows no border, I am pleased to work in partnership with the U.S. EPA and our counterparts in Mexico on this project to further reduce the diesel exhaust that threatens the health of our communities."

"The environmental teamwork between California and Baja California is on track. The West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative blends the goals of Border 2012, which is committed to reducing air pollution and improving the environment along the U.S. - Mexico border," said Hugo Zepeda, Baja California Federal Delegate for SEMARNAT, the Mexican environmental agency.

"Within our dynamic border we can never cease to consider the economic and social realities of our communities. That is why, from an ecological perspective, we gladly support initiatives such as the West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative," said Enrique Villegas Ibarra, Ecology Director, State of Baja California, Mexico.

The $150,000 grant will allow officials to investigate the costs and effectiveness of diesel retrofit technologies on heavy-duty diesel vehicles that operate in the San Diego-Tijuana region. It is one of eight announcements along the West Coast totaling more than $6 million in funding from federal, state, local, non-profit and industry participants toward diesel pollution reduction. The collaborative's goal is to ultimately secure $100 million through this public/private partnership to address and solve the diesel pollution problems in the west, and aimed at getting voluntary diesel reductions sooner than the deadlines set by the EPA?s stringent new diesel standards that begin to take effect in 2008.

The West Coast has numerous diesel sources -- from trucks traveling along the I-5 and I-99 corridors, to ships and trains along the Pacific coast, to agriculture equipment in California's Central Valley, to construction equipment operating in some of the fastest growing cities in the country, such as Los Angeles, Fresno, Seattle and Portland.

Seven other events held today announcing diesel pollution reduction projects along the West Coast include:

* Bakersfield, Calif.- The EPA and San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District announced a $75,000 grant that will allow Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad to retrofit several switcher locomotives in the San Joaquin Valley. Each company will contribute $45,000 to install locomotive microprocessor technology that switches engines off when they are not needed to reduce nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and diesel particulate emissions. The project will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions approximately 2.5 tons annually.

* Sacramento, Calif. - A consortium of government and industry representatives have combined a total of $532,000 to install battery and grid powered electric air conditioners into trucks and also to install needed infrastructure at truck , which enables truck operators to use electrical energy for needed in-truck appliances, instead of idling during rest periods. The EPA is funding half of the idle reduction equipment, and the other half is being funded by the trucking fleet. The fleets agreed to reinvest the annual cost savings resulting from the first year of operation of the equipment, estimated at $2,500 per truck. By year?s end, the system will be in operation on at least 46 trucks.

* Los Angeles, Calif. - The EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership has awarded the South Coast Air Quality Management District a $100,000 grant to help establish an Interstate 5 Truck Idle Reduction Project. The South Coast Air District will match the EPA?s funds to install truck stop electrification to establish an idle-free I-5 corridor.

* Seattle, Wash. - Princess Cruises will announce a proposed $1.8 million dollar shore power project. By hooking two cruise ships, the Diamond Princess and the Sapphire Princess, up to the Seattle electric grid, this project will reduce air emissions to zero for one third of the cruise ship traffic "hotelling" in the Port of Seattle. Other projects of note include $100,000 for truck stop electrification in Washington state, another anti-idiling thrust of the Collaborative.

* Portland, Ore. - In Portland, the state of Oregon and Climate Trust, part of the Oregon Clean Diesel Initiative and the collaborative, announced $200,000 in funding through the EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership for the I-5 Reduced Idling Truck Stop Project. The funding enabled Climate Trust and the state to invest $6 million for idle reduction infrastructure for 500 commercial truck stops along Oregon's I-5 corridor.

* Eugene, Ore. - The Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority announced the investment of $860,000 in the "Everybody Wins" project that will reduce diesel emissions from idling long-haul trucks. The project provides infrastructure to purchase, install and maintain small auxiliary engines that use up to 90 percent less diesel and emit 75 percent less air pollution than idling trucks.

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