EPA awards $495,000 to reduce marine diesel emissions in Massachusetts

The following is the text of a news release from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

(BOSTON) — EPA has awarded $495,000 to fund two marine repower projects in the state of Massachusetts. CLF Ventures Inc. has received $300,000 to repower the tugboat Navigator, and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) has been awarded $195,000 to repower two commercial lobster boats. The grants were awarded after a national competition for clean diesel projects, made possible by the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states. The two projects awarded fall within areas of Suffolk and Bristol counties in Massachusetts, both identified by the EPA as having high levels of emissions from diesel engines.

"Reducing diesel emissions is a proven and effective way to improve air quality. Investing in clean diesel projects in New England will protect people’s health, improve air quality and help our economy by keeping jobs here in our communities," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. “Reducing diesel emissions means cleaner air for everyone, which is especially important for people who suffer from asthma and other respiratory problems.”

The grant to CLF Ventures Inc. will provide partial funding to repower the Navigator, a tugboat operating in New Bedford harbor. In partnership with Riverside Marine Construction Inc., this project will replace two unregulated and two EPA Tier 1 diesel marine engines with cleaner EPA Tier 3 certified marine diesel engines.

“This EPA funding will allow CLF Ventures Inc. to work with the Navigator’s owners to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in and around New Bedford harbor while lowering their fuel costs. Cleaner, more fuel-efficient engines for the Navigator is a win-win-win for the environment, for the health of New Bedford, and for the Navigator’s owners and operators,” said Jasmine Tanguay of CLF Ventures Inc., the nonprofit consulting arm of the Conservation Law Foundation.

For their grant, NESCAUM has partnered with the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association to repower two unregulated diesel marine engines with significantly cleaner EPA Tier 3 certified marine engines. The vessels benefiting from this grant operate out of Boston and Beverly.

“Since 2008, NESCAUM has successfully managed seven DERA-funded projects in New England that have reduced emissions from diesel-powered locomotives, marine vessels and construction equipment. We are excited to again collaborate with the commercial fishing industry in Massachusetts on this initiative to place cleaner engines in two large fishing boats, furthering our organization’s commitment to assist the Northeast states in meeting air quality goals and protecting public health,” said Arthur Marin, executive director of NESCAUM.

These grants will cover up to 40 percent of the equipment and labor costs for each of the marine engine repowers and, once completed, together are expected to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by an estimated 16.35 tons, 0.79 tons, and 170.8 tons, respectively, in addition to conserving over 15,296 gallons of fuel annually.

These Massachusetts grants are part of nearly $20 million in grant and rebate funds awarded by EPA nationwide for clean diesel projects in 2014.

By Professional Mariner Staff