FRANKFORT, KY – Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the approval of $240,000 in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds for a project to curb dangerous diesel emissions from highway construction equipment, according to www.wkyt.com.
The Diesel Retrofit for Highway Construction Equipment project, administered by the Transportation Cabinet, will make exhaust filters available to construction companies for the purpose of reducing especially hazardous PM2.5 emissions. PM2.5 emissions include particulate matter, less than one-tenth the diameter of a human hair, which can penetrate deep into the lungs.
Exposure to PM2.5 emissions can cause headache, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, coughing, difficult or labored breathing, tightness of chest, and irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Long-term exposure can lead to chronic, more serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, cardiopulmonary disease, and lung cancer.
Funding for this project will be made available on a first-come first-served basis and recipients will be required to provide a 20 percent match.
CMAQ programs provide funding for innovative transportation projects or programs that will reduce congestion and improve air quality.
Kentucky receives CMAQ funds each year that can only be spent in areas designated as non-attainment or maintenance for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
CMAQ funds are available to state and local government agencies as well as private entities through public/private partnerships. Nonprofit organizations may also apply in partnership with a state or local government agency.
The Transportation Cabinet solicits applications and makes awards annually for these CMAQ funds. The cabinet’s Office of Local Programs administers all CMAQ funds/projects. For more information on the CMAQ program and application, visit http://tea21.ky.gov and follow the link to CMAQ.