St. Louis Public Radio News
7:34 pm
Thu May 20, 2010

Stimulus project targets local diesel emissions

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis community health non-profit Grace Hill presented their plans today for a $2 million dollar project to decrease area diesel emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency is working with Grace Hill on the stimulus-funded project. The venture will retrofit more than 575 vehicles from St. Louis public fleets and small companies, with the goal of reducing air pollution and associated health problems like asthma.

In an event at the St. Louis Fire Department Headquarters, EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said the funds will also benefit students in St. Louis public schools.

"We're using this money to help Ranken Technical College train young people to work as diesel mechanics and engine mechanics."

As part of the program, students will intern at retrofit companies to gain hands-on experience.

City of St. Louis Air Pollution Control Health Services Manager Katina Stewart says the project will help to bring St. Louis into compliance with federal standards for ground level ozone pollution.

"Currently, the City of St. Louis, we're in nonattainment for ozone. And one of the precursors for ozone is from diesel emissions."

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the project will reduce air pollutants by 40 tons each year.