U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld announced $5 million in funding that will pay for cleaner locomotives throughout the San Joaquin Valley, including a state-of-the art locomotive operating between the Port of Stockton and Lodi. EPA and its partners in the valley, the California Air Resources Board and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District made the announcement at the Central California Traction Rail Company in Stockton, Calif.

In addition, approximately $16 million in grants was announced to slash diesel emissions, advance air quality and improve public health throughout the state of California. The San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country, also has some of the nation’s worst air quality and highest rates of asthma. Federal, local and state partners are working to alleviate these problems by channeling significant funds into new clear air technologies.

“EPA’s goal is to reduce the public health impact of diesel emissions from the trucks and trains moving goods through the San Joaquin Valley,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This funding will reduce particulate matter emissions by 210 tons statewide for the lifetime of these projects—the equivalent of removing 1,000 heavy-duty trucks off the road.”

The state of the art locomotive unveiled in Stockton uses significantly less fuel than its 1953 model year predecessor and emits 90 percent less particulate matter and 92 percent less nitrogen oxides into the environment. This locomotive also uses a regenerative braking system, in which energy otherwise lost as the train slows down is captured and reused.  New technologies such as these significantly cut emissions, while creating new jobs and revitalizing local economies.

"The Air Resources Board is committed to slashing diesel emissions throughout California," said Air Resources Board Member Dorene D'Adamo. "By adopting effective regulations and working with our local and federal partners to bring projects like clean locomotives to the Central Valley, we are making great progress.  Our air is quantifiably cleaner than it was back in the last decade, and everyone here today has contributed to that achievement."     

These EPA clean diesel grant funds will eliminate approximately 210 tons of particulate matter, 4,500 tons of nitrogen oxides and 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions for the lifetime of these projects. 

“The challenges we face in the Valley are unmatched by any other region in the nation, and we highly value our partnership with the EPA in our joint efforts to reach our clean air goals,” said Seyed Sadredin, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Joaquin Valley Air District. “Achieving zero emission goods movement is a key component of our clean air strategy.”

Pollution from dirty diesel engines remains one of the most significant health risks in California. The California Air Resources Board estimates that approximately 9,000 people in California die prematurely each year as a result of exposure to fine particle pollution like diesel exhaust.