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EPA Announces $1 Million Clean Diesel Grant to Improve Air Quality in Detroit

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Joshua Singer (

(CHICAGO-December 3, 2015) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today announced a $1 million Clean Diesel grant that Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision will use to reduce emissions from diesel trucks to improve air quality in Detroit.

"This EPA Clean Diesel grant will improve air quality and protect the health of Detroit residents by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines," EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said. "The Clean Diesel program accelerates replacement of older trucks with newer cleaner trucks - and that's good for the environment and the economy."

EPA awarded the Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant to the non-profit Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision to replace 33 short-haul trucks that transport materials around Detroit. The grant will fund 25 percent of the cost of the replacements and two local trucking companies will pay the rest of the cost for new trucks that have cleaner diesel technology. The new trucks will use less fuel and will significantly reduce emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide.

"This is an important investment in keeping our air clean. By replacing and upgrading these vehicles, we can reduce pollution in our neighborhoods and help keep families healthy," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

"Since 2009, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision has been using its Clean Diesel projects to reduce exposure to harmful diesel emissions that can cause health issues, including asthma and even lung disease," said Sen. Gary Peters. "I am proud to support this grant, which will help SDEV continue to improve air quality and reduce diesel emissions in the Detroit metro area by upgrading diesel vehicles or replacing them with cleaner trucks that have lower emissions."

"I am a strong supporter of SDEV and their mission to improve the environment and strengthen the economy of Southwest Detroit. There are some 88,000 residents in Southwest Detroit who live near a confluence of industrial pollutants, including the state's only oil refinery, a sewage treatment plant, the busiest northern U.S. border crossing, three major freeways, three steel mills, a 300 acre intermodal freight yard, and oil, metal, and waste processing plants. The economic health of this industrial hub is of great importance to Southwest Detroit and Michigan. However, the health of the people who live and work here is equally important. SDEV has shown us that industry can make a profit while promoting environmentally friendly practices," Rep. Brenda Lawrence said.

"The Southwest Detroit community combats many environmental stresses daily by local industry, freeways and increased truck traffic, due to one of the busiest international border crossings in North America. We at the Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision Project are very proud of our work to reduce diesel emissions for residents in Southeast Michigan. As a result of our work for the past several years more than 27,500 tons of diesel pollution has been reduced, that is a huge impact for this community," Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision Executive Director Kathy Stott said.

Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses and can worsen existing heart and lung disease, especially in children and the elderly. These conditions can result in increased numbers of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, absences from work and school, and premature deaths.

EPA previously awarded grants to Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, in 2012 and 2014, which the organization used to replace 38 older diesel vehicles with cleaner vehicles.

For more information about EPA's clean diesel program: