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January 4, 2018

EPA awards Maine $340K to support clean diesel projects

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $339,054 to Maine to support the state's efforts to reduce diesel pollution. The investment, which was awarded through the EPA's State Clean Diesel Program, will be supplemented by an additional $226,037 in state funds to help support clean diesel projects across Maine.

"Reducing harmful air pollutants is critical for public health, particularly in Maine which has one of the highest rates of asthma in the country," U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, said in a joint statement announcing the funding. "These grants represent a continued and welcomed investment in Maine's environment and public health."

The funds will be used for eligible projects throughout the state that reduces emissions from heavy duty diesel engines.

Why this matters

Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems. 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% in all six New England states.

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