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EPA Funding Will Help Clean Diesel Projects in New England States

Annual program funding and Competitive grants yield $3.1 Million for New England projects

12/19/2017
Contact Information: 
Emily Bender (bender.emily@epa.gov)
617-918-1037

BOSTON – EPA's State Clean Diesel Program awarded a total of approximately $1.7 million to the six New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont to support states' efforts to reduce diesel pollution. In addition to the state program funding, under a competitive national grant competition EPA also awarded over $1.4 million for projects in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to reduce diesel emissions.

"This is an excellent example of EPA collaborating with its partners to produce environmental as well as economic benefits," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

"Promoting clean diesel technologies not only improves air quality and protects people's health, but also advances innovation and supports jobs right here in New England communities," said Deb Szaro, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "These projects will significantly reduce harmful emissions, meaning cleaner air for everyone. This is especially important for children, and for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems."

Annual Funding for State Efforts
Under EPA's annual Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding for state efforts to reduce diesel emissions, the New England states have received the following sums: Massachusetts - $248,724; Vermont - $222,982; Rhode Island - $224,837. Some states opted to match federal funds with state funding: Maine received $339,054 and will provide an additional $226,037; Connecticut received $353,697 and will provide $235,798; and New Hampshire received $338,976 and is augmenting its award with $225,985.

The funds will be used for eligible projects throughout the states that reduce emissions from heavy duty diesel engines. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems. 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.

Competitive Grants
Under the DERA competitive national grant program, EPA is also awarding approximately $1.4 Million for three New England projects. The funding will assist the N.H. Dept. of Transportation, CLF Ventures, Inc., and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. in vehicle replacement and marine engine repower projects.

Specifically, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation has been awarded $789,750 to replace 18 wheeled front end loaders, one motor grader and two pavement striping trucks with EPA-certified model year 2017/2018 vehicles and equipment. "The New Hampshire Department of Transportation is thrilled to receive a DERA grant in the amount of $789,750 that will help fund the purchase of 21 pieces of equipment and make this aspect of the Department's fleet more reliable, fuel efficient, and environmentally conscientious. The purchase of these new trucks and construction equipment with low-emissions diesel engines will not only provide a benefit to air quality at a localized level, but also benefit the overall general public statewide as these units will be used across the state to help keep New Hampshire's roads safe and mobile," said Christopher M. Waszczuk, Deputy Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

CLF Ventures, Inc., was awarded $386,105 to install three EPA-certified Tier 3 marine propulsion engines in the ferry, M/V Carol Jean. Operated by Interstate Navigation (Block Island Ferry), the vessel provides year-round service between Point Judith and Block Island, R.I. Once complete, the project is estimated to reduce annual PM2.5 and NOx by 0.73 tons and 14.2 tons, respectively. "Last year, Block Island became home to the nation's first offshore wind farm, marking New England once again as a leader in the transition to a green energy economy. Thanks to EPA's DERA grant, the Conservation Law Foundation and the Block Island Ferry have the opportunity to continue that progress. By retrofitting Block Island's ferry system with the latest engine technology, we can ensure continued service to this coastal treasure while simultaneously improving local and regional air quality," said Jim Hamilton, Project Manager at CLF Ventures.

The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company has been awarded $262,500 to replace four utility bucket trucks that operate at four Municipal Light Plants (MLPs): Boylston, Ipswich, Shrewsbury, Hull. The four existing trucks ranging from model year 2002-2006 are to be replaced with model year 2018 trucks, two equipped with conventional diesel engines and two equipped with state of the art diesel-electric hybrid technology. "We greatly appreciate this EPA award, which recognizes the initiative of four Massachusetts municipal utilities to reduce diesel emissions within their communities," said MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio. "This is but one component of a diversified portfolio of activities employed by municipal utilities to advance the clean energy goals of Massachusetts, including implementation of renewable energy, emerging technologies and other initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

The awards will cover 25 percent of project costs for vehicle replacements and 40 percent for ferry engine repowers. Grant recipients are required to provide a cost-share to cover the remainder of the costs needed to complete these projects. These New England projects are part of nearly $34 million in competitive grant funds awarded by EPA nationwide for clean diesel projects in 2017.

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