EPA Spending $50 Million to Reduce Diesel Emissions From ‘Older School Buses, Trucks'

By Susan Jones | October 21, 2011 | 9:37 AM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) - Reducing diesel emissions helps to decrease asthma attacks and premature deaths, says the Environmental Protection Agency – so it’s going to spend millions more taxpayer dollars cleaning up old diesel engines.

The regulatory agency announced on Thursday that it has awarded $50 million to replace, retrofit or repower” more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel powered machines. Every state will receive funding for clean diesel projects.

“Reducing emissions from existing diesels provides cost-effective public health and environmental benefits while supporting green jobs at manufacturers, dealerships and businesses across the country,” the news release said.

From 2008 to 2010, EPA has awarded nearly $470 million to more than 350 grantees across the nation under the diesel emissions reduction program (known as DERA). It says the grant-supported projects have cleaned or replaced more than 50,000 vehicles and equipment nationwide.”

“While EPA's standards significantly reduce emissions from newly manufactured engines, clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of harmful pollution.”

According to EPA calculations, diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot annually. The agency says diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days.