In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment for the people of Minnesota, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded $3 million to Minnesota Environmental Initiative to cut diesel emissions from public and private fleets. These clean diesel projects will create jobs while protecting Minnesota's air quality.
"Investing in clean diesel projects in the Great Lakes region will protect public health, bolster the economy and create jobs," said Bharat Mathur, acting regional administrator. "These Recovery Act funds will move us one step closer to a clean energy future."
The funds are provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 5 alone received 81 grant applications requesting $211 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The awards announced today were chosen to maximize both economic impact and emissions reductions.
These projects will bring about emission reductions from at least 684 public and private diesel vehicles and equipment including school buses, construction equipment, locomotives and long-haul trucks throughout Minnesota. They include 588 diesel-retrofit technologies, 72 idle-reduction technologies, 22 repowers (engine replacements) and two vehicle replacements.
In addition to helping create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects would reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year.
The Recovery Act allotted the National Clean Diesel Campaign a total of $300 million, of which the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program received $156 million to fund competitive grants across the nation. The Recovery Act also included $20 million for the National Clean Diesel Emerging Technology Program grants and $30 million for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program grants.
In addition, under the Act's State Clean Diesel Grant program, a total of $88.2 million has been provided to states for clean diesel projects through a noncompetitive allocation process.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17 and 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 Recovery.gov.