The USEPA announced this week that it will be issuing $5 million in grants to help reduce emissions from locomotive operations in the San Joaquin Valley. The grants are part of a $21 million package that will address diesel emissions throughout the state.
The announcement was part of Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld‘s “whistle stop tour” of the San Joaquin Valley. The funding will pay for cleaner locomotives, including a state-of-the art locomotive operating between the Port of Stockton and Lodi.
Partnering with the California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley APCD, USEPA is trying to improve air quality in the region. The San Joaquin Valley air consistently is rated as among the nation’s worst and the region also has very high rates of asthma.
“EPA’s goal is to reduce the public health impact of diesel emissions from the trucks and trains moving goods through the San Joaquin Valley,” said Blumenfeld. “This funding will reduce particulate matter emissions by 210 tons statewide for the lifetime of these projects—the equivalent of removing 1,000 heavy-duty trucks off the road.”
The new locomotive in Stockton will be replacing a unit that was built over 50 years ago – in 1953. It will use less fuel and emit 10% or less of the particulate and NOx emissions of the older unit. The new unit also has a regenerative braking system that captures and uses energy that would otherwise be lost when it slows down.
“The Air Resources Board is committed to slashing diesel emissions throughout California,” said Air Resources Board Member Dorene D’Adamo. “By adopting effective regulations and working with our local and federal partners to bring projects like clean locomotives to the Central Valley, we are making great progress.”
The agencies estimate that the funds will eliminate about 210 tons of particulate matter, 4,500 tons of nitrogen oxides and 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the lifetime of the projects. According to ARB, emissions from diesel engines are a significant health risk. It estimates that approximately 9,000 people in California die prematurely each year due to fine particulate pollution.
“The challenges we face in the Valley are unmatched by any other region in the nation, and we highly value our partnership with the EPA in our joint efforts to reach our clean air goals,” said Seyed Sadredin, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Joaquin Valley Air District.
The $21 million in funds will go to new projects throughout the state and existing locomotives in San Joaquin Valley including:
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District: $2,000,000 to repower two older locomotives with newer, cleaner engines.
California Air Resources Board: $14 million to replace 18 older with ultra-low emitting genset locomotives in San Joaquin Valley and Southern California and install a selective catalytic reduction system with a diesel oxidation catalyst capable of meeting Tier 4 emission levels on a line haul locomotive.
Bay Area Air Quality Management District: $1,557,987 to replace 43 heavy-duty drayage trucks that operate at ports around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sacramento Air Quality Management District: $1,097,032 to establish a voucher program to replace 200 existing diesel agricultural irrigation pump engines with new electric agricultural pump motors to power agricultural irrigation pumps.
For more info: USEPA Press Release, Technology Factsheets