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Event in Waterloo, Iowa, to Demonstrate Railroad Diesel Emission Reduction Project Funded by Federal Recovery Act

Release Date: 07/19/2010
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, 913-551-7557 or 816-719-6375 (cell for July 20-22 only),

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., July 19, 2010) – News media representatives and the public are invited to attend a July 21 event in Waterloo, Iowa, at which the Iowa Northern Railway Company will demonstrate the operation of a newly converted railroad “slug,” an energy-saving and diesel emission-reducing locomotive accessory.

The Iowa Northern Railway Company, based in Cedar Rapids, was awarded $303,800 in funding last year from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Clean Diesel program to convert two locomotives into railroad slugs. The slugs were placed into operation this month.

Unlike a locomotive, a slug has no diesel engine, but instead draws power generated by an attached diesel locomotive to run its own sets of traction motors. While increasing the locomotive’s pulling and braking power, a slug reduces overall diesel emissions and saves fuel.

“Removing diesel emissions is one of the important air quality challenges facing the country,” EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “This project is expected to eliminate 220 tons of air pollutants, including 194 tons of nitrogen oxides, 10 tons of particulate matter and 14 tons of hydrocarbons. Pollutants from diesel engines can lead to serious health conditions, such as asthma and allergies, and can also worsen heart and lung disease, especially for children and older adults.”

Each year in Iowa, about 150,000 adults and 40,000 children have asthma, and statewide about 50 to 60 deaths, 12,000 hospitalizations and 50,000 emergency room visits are attributed to asthma and its effects.

The July 21 demonstration in Waterloo will be the first in a series of EPA events held in Iowa to highlight impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. EPA has awarded the Iowa Department of Natural Resources a total of $1.73 million in stimulus funds to support clean diesel projects such as the railroad slugs.

WHO: EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks, Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark, Iowa Department of Natural Resources Mindy Kralicek, and Iowa Northern Railway Company President Dan Sabin

WHAT: Demonstration of Iowa Northern Railway Company’s new railroad slug

WHERE: Iowa Northern Railway Company, 1330 Sheffield Avenue, Waterloo, Iowa

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, 2010 (A facility tour for news media representatives will take place at 2:30 p.m.)

Nationwide, EPA has awarded $7 billion in stimulus funds for projects that meet economic and environmental needs, including support for clean diesel projects that address the nation’s existing fleet of more than 11 million diesel engines. Eligible projects include engine idling reduction and retrofit technologies, engine replacement and vehicle replacement.

President Obama has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at The Recovery Act seeks in part to spur technological advances in science and health and to invest in environmental protection and other infrastructure that will provide long-term economic benefits.

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For information about all the EPA Recovery Act Clean Diesel efforts:

For information about EPA’s Clean Diesel initiative: