Diesel engines are a necessary cog in the wheel of commerce, but the effect of diesel emissions on Indiana's air quality is a universal concern. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to diesel exhaust increases risk for several serious health problems, including respiratory illness and cancer.
To help improve air quality, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is facilitating new federal grant opportunities provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition to improving the environment, the funds are designed to promote economic recovery and job creation and retention. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, subject to availability of funds, will be awarded. Applications are due May 15, 2009, and all projects must be completed by September 30, 2010 to qualify for reimbursement.
Over the last four years, IDEM has implemented clean diesel projects on over 1,100 vehicles across Indiana with a total investment of over $1.5 million. IDEM's DieselWise Indiana program worked with municipal, school, and public transportation entities across Indiana to retrofit diesel engines and vehicles with technologies that dramatically reduce harmful tailpipe emissions, conserve fossil fuels and improve fuel efficiency. The DieselWise Indiana program has also provided funds for clean diesel projects at Indiana port and rail facilities. All of these projects have dramatically reduced harmful diesel emissions and improved the quality of life for Indiana citizens.
"We realize that owners and operators of diesel powered equipment, as well as the general public, would benefit from additional educational and funding opportunities on the clean diesel program and available technologies," said IDEM Commissioner Thomas Easterly. "The federal government entrusting IDEM to disburse these funds means Indiana diesel equipment owners and operators will be better positioned to make wise investments in clean diesel technologies for their fleets. Lower diesel emissions can lead to improved quality of life for all Indiana citizens."
The complete grants announcement can be found at www.in.gov/idem/5255.htm and any questions should be directed to (317) 233-0425.
IDEM (www.idem.IN.gov) implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids business and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.
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