U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $51,840 grant to the city of Chicago for an idling reduction project to cut diesel emissions from city garbage trucks.
The grant was made to the Chicago Department of Environment and the Chicago Department of Fleet Management to install diesel-fired engine coolant and hydraulic system heaters on 13 heavy-duty garbage trucks used daily by the Department of Streets and Sanitation.
In addition to cutting air pollution, the project will demonstrate the effectiveness of idling reduction technologies on diesel engines, conserve fuel and reduce wear and tear on vehicles.
"EPA is working with the city of Chicago to upgrade its vehicles and to increase public awareness of problems caused by diesel emissions," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Chicago has been a leader in retrofitting its vehicle fleet to reduce diesel emissions. Reducing these emissions will help us all breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives."
The grant was provided under EPA's Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, a collaborative of government, industry and non-profit organizations to reduce diesel emissions in the Midwest. More information on the initiative is at http://www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.
Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ozone (smog), which is a lung irritant, and fine particles can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases. Fine particles can also affect lung function and structure.