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Workshop to Highlight Need for Alternative Fuel Vehicles in New York City

Release Date: 05/03/2001
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(#01049) New York, New York -- One third of all air pollution in our region is caused by motor vehicles. Alternative fuel vehicles – those powered by fuels other than traditional gas or diesel – can make a big difference. Buying alternative fuel vehicles is easier than you think, whether you operate a large fleet, own a small business or just drive your personal car. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is co-sponsoring an Alternative Fuel Vehicle Workshop on May 4 in Manhattan to prove it.

EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy and the West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc. (WEACT) are hosting the half day workshop to inform local business owners, fleet managers and the general public about the advantages of operating less-polluting vehicles, especially in congested and polluted urban areas like New York City.

"Alternative fuel vehicles pollute less, save energy and can even save the buyer money in the long run," said William J. Muszynski, P.E., Acting EPA Regional Administrator. "This workshop will bring together federal, state and local agencies, fuel providers, vehicle manufacturers, engine manufacturers and fleet owners to trade experiences and forge partnerships."

In addition to encouraging the use of alternative fuels, EPA has taken several recent actions to dramatically decrease pollution from traditionally-fueled vehicles. EPA passed regulations requiring SUVs to meet the same pollution standards as regular passenger cars and requiring up to a 95 percent reduction in pollution from all gasoline-powered vehicles starting in 2004. In addition, the Agency has attacked pollution from diesel engines – a key source of pollution in New York City – by requiring a combination of cleaner engines and low sulfur diesel fuel starting in 2007. These changes will reduce the sulfur content in diesel fuel by 97 percent and cut pollution from diesel trucks and buses an estimated 95 percent. EPA also recently launched a new, consumer-friendly website, called the Green Vehicle Guide, which gives prospective buyers information about the air pollution emissions and fuel economy of different vehicles.