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EPA Provides the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) $700,000 to Reduce Emissions from Locomotives

Release Date: 07/21/2010
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston, Mass. July 21, 2010) The EPA recently awarded $700,000 to the MBTA to reduce diesel emissions by purchasing and installing Head End Power (HEP) engines on 7 Commuter Rail locomotives operating in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

"Reducing diesel emissions is an effective way to improve air quality—one of the seven key priorities of Administrator Jackson. Fewer diesel emissions will help those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EP A's New England Office. “These projects will help bring cleaner air to the residents of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

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.

Noting that the EPA’s award coincides with the Patrick-Murray Administration’s latest GreenDOT Transportation Initiative, MBTA General Manager Rich Davey stated, “This is perfect timing. While MassDOT Secretary Mullan refocuses our transportation network to be more environmentally sensitive toward climate change emissions; the EPA makes an investment that will significantly reduce diesel emissions on the T’s commuter rail fleet. I thank the EPA for their support and will continue to promote smarter transportation options under the leadership of MassDOT and the Patrick-Murray Administration.”

This grant will allow MBTA to replace 7 unregulated HEP engines with new Tier 2 certified HEP engines, resulting in an estimated reduction in annual nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions of 46 and 60 percent, respectively. Additionally, annual fuel use is projected to decrease by approximately 5% for each locomotive HEP engine due to the higher efficiency of the new, electronically controlled engines. The grant will cover up to 75% of the cost of each eligible HEP engine.

This announcement is part of more than $67 million in grant funds being awarded by the EPA through the 2010 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Other New England entities receiving grants this year include Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), the Town of Fairfield, Connecticut and the New Bedford Harbor Development Commission. In addition, under the state clean diesel grant program, EPA recently announced that it is awarding $1.7 million to the New England state environmental agencies for clean diesel projects in New England.

For more information:

Northeast Diesel Collaborative
EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (

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