The EPA recently awarded the City of Portland $1.6 million to reduce emissions from municipal fleet vehicles and construction contractor equipment. The project will help create jobs, boost the local economy, reduce diesel emissions and protect human health and the environment.
"The timing of this funding is perfect," Mayor Sam Adams said. “Stimulating job growth in the green sector while taking steps to better protect public health is a win-win for Portland and for Oregon."
Portland plans to use the funding to purchase and install diesel particulate exhaust filters on municipal diesel fleets for the City of Portland, City of Salem and Multnomah County. The city also will install fuel operated heaters on Portland and Multnomah County’s diesel fleets as a strategy for reducing diesel emissions and decreasing fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, Portland will use some of the funding to pilot clean diesel contracting requirements on a number of upcoming publicly funded construction projects. The funding will be used to install emission reduction technologies on contractor owned, leased or rented off-road construction equipment used in pilot projects.
"Cost-effective clean diesel projects such as this will help spur economic recovery," Susan Anderson, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability director, said. "This funding will bolster the economy and create new, green jobs that will improve air quality, reduce fuel consumption and save money."
According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 37 percent of diesel air toxins in the Portland area are emitted from construction equipment. Those toxins can severely impact the health of local residents.
Portland's clean diesel project will help reduce diesel particulate emissions by more than 4 tons per year. The DEQ estimates that each ton of diesel particulate matter results in $398,425 in environmental damage and public health costs.
The effort will create or sustain about 34 manufacturing and local installation jobs and help Oregon municipalities and their contractors decrease operating costs by finding fuel savings.