SAN FRANCISCO – In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, reduce diesel emissions, and protect human health and the environment for the people in the State of California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $1.73 million to the California Air Resources Board. The funding can be used to support clean diesel projects and loan programs to address the nation's existing fleet of over 11 million diesel engines.
"These cost-effective projects will help California speed its journey to recovery," said EPA Acting Region 9 Administrator Laura Yoshii. "This funding will bolster the state's economy and create new, green jobs that will improve air quality in California."
The funds provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 will go to the state's clean diesel grant program. California plans to implement a clean school bus project under this program, retrofitting up to 100 school buses.
In addition to helping to 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.
Under ARRA's State clean diesel funding program, $88.2 million is divided equally through a noncompetitive allocation process, meaning that all 50 states and the District of Columbia will receive $1.73 million.
States, local governments, non-profits and tribal agencies can also compete for a portion of $206 million under ARRA's national clean diesel funding program.
President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17 and directed 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.
More information on EPA's implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in California is available at www.epa.gov/recovery. For information about EPA's clean diesel initiatives, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.
The California Air Resources Board has adopted a new emissions tracking program that would help regulators identify vehicles with excess smog-related and greenhouse gas emissions.