January 10, 2013
DEEP Announces $360,000 in Funding to Seven Municipalities
for Purchase of New Diesel Vehicles  
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced grants of $360,000 to seven Connecticut municipalities who will use the funds to replace older diesel trucks with new vehicles that burn fuel cleaner and more efficiently. With improved fuel economy, the replacement trucks will save taxpayer dollars, and the pollution controls on these vehicles will help Connecticut achieve its clean air goals.  The funds are from a settlement of a case involving environmental violations with American Electric Power Service Corporation, Columbus, Ohio and are required to be used to reduce diesel emissions in heavy traffic areas in environmental justice communities. 
“We must continue moving forward to improve the quality of the air we breathe to better protect the health and well being of Connecticut’s citizens,” said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut DEEP.  “Removing older diesel-fueled trucks from our roads and replacing them with vehicles that meet the latest standards for fuel efficiency and reduced air emissions is a big part of this effort. The use of this grant money is consistent with Governor Malloy’s energy agenda of promoting greater efficiency and reducing air emissions.”
Attorney General George Jepsen said, “Connecticut has been able to improve its air quality in part because of this settlement, won by my Office on behalf of the state.  It led to the installation of pollution controls by the Ohio company, but also provided settlement funds that are being used by DEEP to make interim improvements to air quality within Connecticut.”
The seven grant recipients are:
             Grant Recipient                              Grant Amount                              Type of Vehicle
         City of Stamford                         $83,466.75                Refuse Collection Vehicle
      Town of Wethersfield    $50,688.50       Maintenance/Snow Plowing Truck
     Borough of Naugatuck    $50,000.00       Maintenance/Snow Plowing Truck
        City of Waterbury    $46,643.00    Refuse Collection/Snow Plowing Truck   
        Town of Plainville    $45,000.00       Maintenance/Snow Plowing Truck
         Town of Enfield    $43,000.00       Maintenance/Snow Plowing Truck
       City of Middletown    $41,201.75        Construction/Snow Plowing Truck

For further information on this grant program and application procedures, visit the DEEP website at: http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2684&q=322100&depNav_GID=1619
Environmental Justice Communities
Environmental justice communities are neighborhoods in which residents are subjected to unusually high levels of pollution from factories, power plants, highways or other sources.  Residents of such communities receive special protection because they often lack the economic means to decrease their exposure to pollution.  DEEP's 1993 Environmental Equity Policy states that, "...no segment of the population should, because of its racial or economic makeup, bear a disproportionate share of the risks and consequences of environmental pollution or be denied equal access to environmental benefits."  In Connecticut, environmental justice communities include the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) list of distressed municipalities, as well as defined census block groups with 30% of their population living below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Dangers of Diesel Emissions
Exhaust from diesel engines is a significant contributor to air pollution. It contains fine particles which inflame the airways and exacerbate conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and other cardiovascular conditions.  In the summer, diesel exhaust also produces ozone, a constituent of smog, which is another irritant to the lungs and air passages.  In addition, toxic and carcinogenic pollutants are included in diesel emissions and diesel exhaust contains the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide and black carbon, which contribute to climate change.
DEEP Efforts to Reduce Diesel Emissions
DEEP’s program for reducing diesel pollution was set out in the Connecticut Clean Diesel Plan, which received an Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006.  Initial clean diesel efforts prioritized the installation of emission controls on school buses because of health risks posed to children by diesel exhaust. A variety of funding sources were leveraged to reduce children’s exposure to fine particulate matter in diesel exhaust.
With increased funding available from the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), DEEP has broadened the scope of its efforts by encouraging the installation of emission controls on trucks and construction equipment, replacing aging diesel trucks and engines, upgrading engines to meet current emission standards and reducing idling.  DERA funding is covering diesel emission reduction projects for transit, locomotives, marine and agricultural operations.  DEEP’s diesel grants and funding efforts since 2008 have leveraged over $5 million from the state and national DERA, the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka Stimulus Act) and the Connecticut Clean School Bus Act to reduce diesel emissions that impact both the environment and the passengers on these vehicles.

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