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EPA Awards $2 million for Diesel Pollution Reduction Projects in Ohio

02/14/2018
Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069

(Chicago) February 14, 2018 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded three Ohio organizations nearly $2 million to reduce harmful diesel emissions from vehicles and heavy-duty equipment that operate throughout the state and on the Great Lakes.

“These projects will help people breathe cleaner air,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp. “Clean diesel grants also spur innovation and support jobs by helping to replace older, dirtier engines with newer, cleaner ones.”

EPA gave the three Ohio organizations a total of $1,967,000 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grants. The grants have been combined with $3.2 million in matching funds from project partners to reduce diesel emissions from paratransit buses, refuse haulers, terminal tractors, and tug/tow boats. These projects will cut the amount of nitrogen oxide, particulate matter (soot), hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the air.

EPA awarded the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) a $217,000 DERA grant to replace two older, dirtier paratransit buses with two new, zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell paratransit buses. The vehicles serve Canton-area residents in the SARTA public transportation service area. SARTA is contributing $271,666 to the project.

“With the addition of these two vehicles, SARTA will have 15 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles creating the third largest fuel cell fleet in the Western Hemisphere,” said Kirt Conrad, executive director of the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority. “This grant from the EPA will help create the first fuel cell paratransit vehicle of this size available to transit systems. It will give communities across the county a clearer way to reductions.”

In addition, EPA awarded the American Lung Association a $1 million grant to replace seven older refuse haulers owned by Waste Management and operated in Geauga County with new trucks powered by compressed natural gas. The grant will also replace three diesel-powered terminal tractors owned by Nolan Logistics with zero-emissions electric vehicles for use at a distribution center in Lucas County. Waste Management and Nolan Logistics are providing more than $1.8 million to the projects.

“More than 1.5 million people in Ohio have chronic lung diseases, including asthma and COPD. Diesel emissions impact their health and endanger their lives,” said Harold P. Wimmer, national president and CEO of the American Lung Association. “The American Lung Association is pleased to be working with U.S. EPA once more to reduce diesel emissions in Ohio. This project will significantly reduce emissions in Lucas and Geauga counties, saving lives and improving lung health.”

EPA also awarded the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority a $750,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant to replace older, dirtier marine engines with newer, cleaner engines as part of a larger two-for-one vessel replacement project. The Great Lakes Towing Co. will replace four 1940’s-era single engine tugboats with two new dual-engine tugboats. The old engines are not regulated, and the new vessels’ engines meet EPA standards for a significant reduction in diesel emissions. The Great Lakes Towing Co. is providing matching funds of $1.1 million.

“The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority (Port of Cleveland) appreciates the support of the U.S. EPA and our partners at Great Lakes Towing,” said Port of Cleveland CEO William Friedman. “This grant will positively impact our local air quality while supporting robust economic activity in Cleveland harbor and throughout the Great Lakes.”

EPA provides grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act to protect human health and improve air quality by reducing emissions from diesel engines. 

For more information about EPA’s Clean Diesel program: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.

For more information on the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative: www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.