EPA Revs Up Leased Construction Equipment Retrofit Program Release date: 03/26/2009
Working to boost the economy while protecting human health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) a $400,000 grant to help retrofit construction equipment that is leased to construction projects throughout the Northeast. Placing emissions controls on this equipment slashes harmful pollutants from diesel engines, which can directly impact people’s health, including by bringing on asthma attacks. The check was presented to Paul J. Miller, NESCAUM Deputy Director by George Pavlou, EPA's top local official, at a ceremony at H.O. Penn Machinery in the Bronx, a prominent Caterpillar Equipment dealer with locations through the Northeast.
"Construction equipment is often leased, and getting rental facilities to put pollution controls on their equipment means cleaner air for communities everywhere the leased equipment is used," said George Pavlou, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. "Grants like this one create jobs while making a healthier future for our children."
NESCAUM, a clean air association of the eight Northeast states, will use the EPA grant to retrofit diesel-powered rental construction equipment operating in the six New England states, New York and New Jersey. According to equipment inventories, as much as 25 percent of construction equipment in these areas is owned by rental companies, which is often not equipped with available clean diesel technology. NESCAUM will also work with the construction industry associations in the region and with the manufacturers of emission control devices to aid vehicle retrofits and target rental companies, provide guidance in selecting vendors and technologies, and facilitate competitive bids for the control technology and its installation. The retrofit project runs from December 2008 through December 2010.
Throughout the nation, EPA is helping diesel grantees use the funds to implement clean diesel projects that will cut thousands of tons of diesel emissions, including particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. As a result, the projects would also reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year.