The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant totaling $991,253 to the University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus to curb pollution from trucks in San Juan.
The University of Puerto Rico – Medical Sciences Campus will receive the nearly $1 million grant to replace older heavy-duty, short-haul trucks with 2012 or newer models and to retrofit heavy-duty diesel trucks owned by local private and independent transportation companies in the San Juan Port area.
“Diesel emissions-reduction initiatives are very important to improve public health in Puerto Rico, given the dependence on diesel engine trucks for the movement of all goods brought in and commercialized in the island,” says Dr. Aluisio Pimenta, professor at the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. “Puerto Rico has the highest asthma rate among all states and territories in the United States.”
According to the EPA, this investment will lead to the reduction of about 203 tons of nitrogen oxides and about 12 tons of fine particles.
“Clean diesel technologies not only improve air quality in Puerto Rico but advance innovation and support jobs,” says Scott Pruitt, the EPA’s administrator. “I am pleased that we are awarding this grant to help reduce harmful emissions that will directly benefit the residents of the commonwealth.”
“This grant program is a perfect example of how EPA’s grants incentivize public and private entities alike to invest in innovative technology that not only produces environmental benefits but also boosts business,” adds Pete Lopez, the EPA’s regional administrator. “As we strengthen our partnerships, EPA will continue to work toward reducing harmful air pollutants and improving air quality in the San Juan Port area.”