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EPA gives grants for clean diesel 

Organizations in San Luis Obispo and other communities are set to receive stimulus money to reduce smog-causing diesel emissions.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 8 announced the recipients of eight competitive grants for clean diesel projects within the state of California. The agency said these projects will improve air quality in some of the regions, such as the San Joaquin Valley, that have been hit hardest by smog pollution.

The California Department of Transportation, with a center in SLO, was one of the recipients, receiving $951,431 to install environmentally friendly diesel particulate filters on a number of Caltrans-owned crawler tractors, forklifts, rollers, backhoes and other equipment used throughout the state, including on the Central Coast, according to EPA spokeswoman Mary Simms.

Other grants include $8.9 million to the California Air Resources Board to repower eight locomotives that operate with new Tier 3 engines, $1.9 million to retrofit equipment at the Port of Los Angeles, more than $4 million for a large-scale emissions reduction project at the Port of Long Beach, $1.5 million to reduce diesel emissions for more than a hundred school buses in San Diego County, $4 million to install diesel particulate filters in school buses in the San Joaquin Valley, $2 million to refit San Joaquin Valley agricultural off-road vehicles with new engines that meet EPA standards, and $2 million to retrofit and replace more than  a hundred trucks that operate at or near the Port of Oakland.

The funds are provided under the 2009 stimulus act signed by President Obama earlier this year. Under the act’s State Clean Diesel Grant program, a total of $88.2 million has also been allocated to states through a noncompetitive grant process.

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