Honolulu - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded over $117,000 in Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants to the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa to be used for projects to reduce diesel emissions.
“For the first time the Pacific Territories will benefit from this funding to aid in reducing resident’s exposure to diesel emissions,” said Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Our ongoing West Coast Collaborative clean diesel campaign will reduce harmful emissions in the air, better protect people's health, and supports green jobs in our region and across the country.”
* CNMI will receive $70,677 to be used to improve fuel efficiency and allow the use of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) in diesel engines at one of their power plants through fuel pump and injector replacements.
* American Samoa will use its $47,117 for the purchase of ULSD that will be used in 19 new diesel generators that provide power to the island.
The overall emissions reductions from the CNMI and American Samoa projects will result in significant reductions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and hydrocarbons. The territories have mainly used diesel fuels containing higher levels of sulfur, contributing to air pollution in their areas. The upcoming projects will assist in the wider use of the cleaner ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, resulting in a greater lasting reduction in harmful diesel emissions in the territories.
The funding is part of $50 million in clean diesel grants recently awarded across the country. These efforts will replace, retrofit or repower more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel powered machines, like diesel power plant generators.
From 2008 to 2010, EPA has awarded nearly $470 million to more than 350 grantees across the nation, cleaning or replacing more than 50,000 vehicles and equipment nationwide.
Nationally, diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot annually. Diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days. While EPA's standards significantly reduce emissions from newly manufactured engines, clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address some of the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of harmful pollution.
Every state will receive funding for clean diesel projects through direct state allocations. This year for the first time, the U.S. territories can now receive direct state allocation funds. EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign works cooperatively with state and local air agencies, tribes, communities, environmental groups, and the diesel industry to help control diesel emissions.
Cleaning up diesel emissions can also have direct near term climate benefits. For more information visit: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/BC%20Report%20to%20Congress?OpenDocument
More information on these grants and to learn more about the West Coast Collaborative, visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org.
For more information on the National Clean Diesel Campaign, including a list of all grants nation-wide, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel