The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded more than $2 million to fund clean diesel projects, which aim to increase the use of cleaner burning diesel fuel in various industrial settings.
As part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), the EPA awarded $1.39 million to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) to buy and install six new diesel marine engines in two tug boats. The funds will also be used to replace four Portland Public School System diesel school buses with buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).
"Reducing diesel emissions is a proven and effective way to improve air quality. Investing in Clean Diesel projects in New England will protect people’s health, improve air quality, and help our economy by keeping jobs here in our communities," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office.
The EPA also awarded $800,000 to the Connecticut Maritime Foundation, which will use the funds to install two diesel engines in a New London passenger ferry.
These funds are part of the EPA's ongoing national campaign to reduce harmful diesel exhaust around the country. The DERA program will be awarding $30 million to help replace, retrofit, or re-power outdated medium- and heavy-duty diesel motors in marine vessels, port equipment, locomotives, construction and agriculture equipment, trucks, and buses.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than one million workers are currently exposed to diesel exhaust, including miners, bridge and tunnel workers, railroad employees, loading dock workers, and others. Ensure these employees are protected by ensuring adequate ventilation on worksites, monitoring diesel particulate matter concentrations, and providing the appropriate safety products, including respiratory protection.