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EPA, Governor, Climate Trust Announce I-5 Truck Diesel Emission Reduction Project

Release Date: 9/30/2004
Contact Information: Bill Dunbar
(206) 553-1203

September 30, 2004

Project kicks off West Coast-wide diesel initiative

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency today presented Oregon State University with $200,000 from its SmartWay Transport Partnership to initiate a $6 million investment - most from the Climate Trust -- in truck idle reduction equipment up and down Oregon's I-5 corridor.

photo of Governor Kulongoski demonstrating a new electrical supply port hooked up to a truck.At a Jubitz Travel Center near Portland, the Climate Trust, Governor Ted Kulongoski, the EPA, and Oregon State University kicked-off a coast-wide effort by a consortium of government agencies, non-profits and businesses to reduce dangerous diesel emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives and other diesel sources along the West Coast.

The consortium, collectively known as the West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative ("Collaborative"), includes representatives of the governments of the U.S., Canada and Mexico, state and local governments, and the non-profit and private sector from California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia.

The ultimate goal of the Collaborative is to secure $100 million to promote voluntary efforts to reduce diesel emissions in California, Oregon and Washington further and sooner than the EPA's new, stringent national diesel rules mandate.

The $200,000 grant announced today is one of eight grant announcements along the West Coast totaling over $10 million in funding from federal, state, local, non-profit and industry. The grant provides the resources to select the technologies and specific sites for a $6 million investment that enables truck operators to use more efficient electrical energy rather than idling their diesel engines to run in-truck appliances such as air conditioners and microwave ovens. In Washington Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles, several state and federal government agencies, along with numerous industry partners, are announcing similar idle-reduction projects.

Emissions from the West Coast's numerous diesel sources - trucks, buses, ships and boats, locomotives, agricultural equipment, construction equipment and generators - expose West Coast residents to extremely unhealthy air. Some estimates suggest that up to 85 percent of the lifetime cancer risk citizens face from air toxins comes from diesel emissions. These pollutants also contribute to unhealthy levels of fine particles and ozone, or smog. Fine particles have been associated with an increased risk of premature mortality, hospital admissions for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and other adverse effects.

The EPA's new national diesel regulations dramatically reduce emissions from trucks, trains, construction and agricultural equipment, large-scale diesel generators, and marine vessels. When fully implemented, these new rules will reduce diesel emissions up to 99 percent. However, unlike other areas of the country, along the West Coast diesel emissions are the primary air pollutants of concern for regulators and health professionals.

photo of partners and $200,000 grant check from the EPA“Diesel emission reductions represent one of the most important opportunities to achieve rapid and cost-effective health and environmental benefits on the West Coast,” said Julie Hagensen, deputy administrator of the U.S. EPA's Pacific Northwest Office in Seattle.

“Reducing diesel emissions will decrease the incidence of asthma and improve overall air quality. Efforts like today's I-5 idle reduction project will combine with others to provide cleaner air from San Diego to Seattle.”

“Last year, the Governors of Washington, California, and I initiated the Global Warming initiative because we knew that the issue of global warming is too big to tackle through an individual state-by-state effort,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “I am pleased that the federal government, local government, business and non-profits have joined our commitment to curb global warming by tackling diesel emissions along the I-5 corridor. The result will be cost savings for truckers and cleaner air for us all.”

“Implementing new idle-reduction technology at truck stops is a great solution to climate change,” said Mike Burnett, executive director of the Climate Trust in Portland, Ore. “This project significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions from trucks parked at truck stops by using a more efficient energy source to meet truckers' needs.” The Climate Trust will be investing $2.2 million of carbon dioxide offset funding for implementation of the idle-reduction technology in Oregon and Washington.

“This project represents the very best in public private partnerships where both economic and environmental interests are served,” said Mark Reeve, Chair of the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission. “DEQ is proud to be a part of this innovative solution that saves fuel and reduces air pollution by reducing truck engine idling yet still providing needed services for truck operators.”

The Collaborative builds on diesel emissions reductions targets in the EPA's on-road and non-road rules, and the success of EPA's Clean School Bus USA Initiative, California's Carl Moyer Clean Engine Incentive Program, Washington's Diesel Solutions Program, Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit Program and other voluntary emissions reductions programs. Many diesel emission reduction technologies can reduce emissions of fine particles and other pollution by over 90 percent.

Following are descriptions of other projects being announced today as part of the Collaborative:
  • In Eugene OR, the Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority announced the investment of $860,000 in the "Everybody Wins" Project that will reduce diesel emissions from idling trucks as part of the I-5 Corridor Truck Idle Reduction Initiative. 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.
  • The Washington Department of Ecology has received $100,000 in funding through the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership for the I-5 Corridor Truck Idle Reduction Initiative. The Climate Trust will also be adding $200,000 to this project.
  • In Los Angeles, the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership in support of a West Coast I-5 Corridor Truck Idle Reduction Initiative has awarded the South Coast Air Quality Management District a $100,000 grant to electrify truck stops. The South Coast Air District will match the EPA's funds.
  • In Seattle,WA, Princess Cruises, the Port of Seattle, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and Seattle City Light, along with the Collaborative, announced a proposed $1.5 - 1.8 million 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 the air emissions from dockside cruise ships in Seattle by more than a third.
  • In Bakersfield, 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 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.
  • In Sacramento, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the Electric Power Research Institute, the EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the California Energy Commission, the Department of Energy and numerous industry partners are combining a total of $532,000 to install battery and grid powered electric air conditioners into trucks and electrification infrastructure at truck stops. The alternate power enables truck operators to use electrical energy for in-truck appliances like air conditioners and microwave ovens, instead of idling during rest periods.
  • In San Diego, the EPA has awarded the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District $150,000 for a diesel emissions reduction demonstration project. The project will investigate the costs and effectiveness of diesel retrofit technologies on heavy-duty diesel vehicles that operate in the San Diego-Tijuana region.

For more information contact:
Peter Murchie
(503) 326-6554

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