EPA Funding Will Help Protect Children by Reducing Diesel Air Pollution

News Release, Environmental Protection Agency

PHILADELPHIA (October 18, 2019) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $5.66 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funding to reduce emissions from polluting diesel engines in the Mid-Atlantic region.  The DERA funding was awarded to public and private partners to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including various diesel-powered trucks and port equipment.

“This funding supports EPA’s commitment to protecting children’s health,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.  “The projects funded by EPA will reduce harmful pollutants emitted by diesel engines, thereby improving the region’s air quality and helping children and communities breathe easier.”

Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants including nitrogen oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which contribute to serious public health problems, including asthma, lung cancer and various other cardiac and respiratory diseases. DERA grants fund projects that provide immediate health and environmental benefits.

In the U.S. an average of one out of every 13 school-age children have asthma. Many of the geographical areas which these projects impacts are also environmental justice areas that often have above average rates of pediatric asthma.  Children are at greater risk of becoming negatively impacted by diesel pollution because they have a higher respiratory rate than adults. EPA estimates that these projects will reduce emissions by 1,003 tons of NOx and 30 tons of PM 2.5 over the lifetime of the affected engines.

EPA is providing approximately $40 million in competitive grant funds awarded nationwide for clean diesel projects in 2019. The Clean Diesel Program provides support for projects that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines.

The 2019 DERA grants funded the following projects in the Mid-Atlantic Region:

Mid Atlantic Regional Management Association (MARAMA)

Amount Awarded:  $ 1.38 million

The project will provide incentives to eligible dray truck owners serving the Ports and Railyards of Philadelphia, PA, and Wilmington, DE.  MARAMA aims to incentivize the voluntary replacement of 40 class 8 drayage trucks, the model year 1997 to 2009, with 2013 or newer model year engines equipped with Diesel Particulate Filters and Selective Catalytic Reduction technologies. This project will reduce emissions of NOx, PM, HC-Toxin, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and air toxics. 

Maryland Environmental Services (MES) on behalf of the Maryland Port Authority

Amount Awarded:  $ 1.84 million

By replacing up to four pieces of cargo handling equipment at the Port of Baltimore with the most up-to-date engines and replacing at least 44 drayage trucks with trucks having newer engines, this project will improve regional air quality by reducing NOx and PM emissions and help meet statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals by curtailing carbon dioxide emissions.

James Madison University

Amount Awarded:   $1.84 million

United Parcel Service (UPS) will apply early retirement to 69 combination short-haul heavy-duty Class 8 trucks and replace them with clean diesel and compressed natural gas trucks.  This project targets the replacement of trucks in various locations in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PhilaPort)

Amount Awarded:  $ 598,200

Phila Port will replace four diesel terminal tractors with four electric tractors, including the installation of associated electrical infrastructure.

To learn more about clean diesel and DERA funding visit: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.

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