Hawaii obtained grant cash to assist cut back diesel emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Monday that it has awarded grants under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) of $ 14,304,998 to public and private partners in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific island areas.

The funds will be used to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, heavy trucks, tractors, port and construction equipment.

The Hawaii Department of Health received $ 474,474 to help exchange partner vehicles. Honolulu City and County Board of Water Supply will replace one truck; The Hawaii Department of Transportation will replace a street zipper. and the Department of Business, Development and Tourism of the State of Hawaii will replace two buses.

These funds will be combined with Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Funds of USD 316,494 and fleet cost sharing of USD 2,511,239.

“By promoting cleaner diesel technologies, we can improve air quality and human health, fuel American innovation, and promote green jobs,” said Mike Stoker, EPA Pacific Southwest regional administrator. “Reducing diesel pollution is important for everyone, especially children, one of our most sensitive populations.”

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From 2008 to 2016, the EPA spent $ 629 million nationwide to retrofit or replace 67,300 engines and equipment in port, airport, transit and school buses, rail, long and short haul trucks, drayage trucks, Seagoing vessels, agricultural, construction and other fleets provided. DERA projects have saved more than 454 million gallons of fuel. The EPA estimates that the lifetime emissions reductions achieved by DERA total 15,490 tons of particulate matter and 472,700 tons of nitrogen oxides. These cuts have resulted in health benefits of up to $ 19 billion.

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In October, the EPA celebrates Child Health Month and highlights many programs and resources that tribes, states, territories, and local partners can use to protect our nation’s children. During this fiscal year (Oct. 2018 – Sept. 30, 2019), EPA gave DERA funding of more than $ 9 million in discounts to replace older diesel school buses with newer, cleaner vehicles.

These efforts in the western United States are part of the West Coast Collaborative, which uses public and private funding and partnerships to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources. Upgrading vehicles and equipment will reduce emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.

The EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner. However, many older diesel engines remain in service and are older than these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particles. These pollutants have been linked to health problems, including exacerbated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

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DERA grants have supported nearly 25,000 cleaner buses for America’s school children nationwide. School buses travel over 4 billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, exhaust fumes from diesel buses can be harmful to health, especially in children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

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