Kansas City, Kan. -- Anyone along the Mississippi River will see the steady-moving push boats moving along America’s inland waterways, carrying commodities from as far north as St. Paul, Minn., to ports as far south as New Orleans, La. Push boats run 24 hours a day, seven days a week moving goods to markets at inland ports along the river.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $494,978 grant to Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission (SEMO RPC) to replace engines on a push boat operated by SCF Marine. The boat’s old engines are from 1953 and 1960, decades before emission standards went into effect. The new engines will meet EPA Tier II standards, resulting in reduced health impacts for port workers and communities along the Mississippi River. The EPA grant is part of a $1 million project.
The Tier II vehicle and gasoline sulfur program is part of a series of major initiatives that reduce emissions from passenger vehicles, highway trucks and buses, and nonroad diesel equipment. The result will be reduced emissions, cleaner air, and improved human health.
SEMO RPC is also working with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to reduce emissions on trash haulers and switch locomotives in southeast Missouri.
EPA has awarded $50 million for clean diesel projects as part of its ongoing campaign to reduce harmful emissions in the air and better protect people's health. These efforts will replace, retrofit or repower more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel powered machines. Reducing emissions from existing diesels provides cost-effective public health and environmental benefits while supporting green jobs at manufacturers, dealerships and businesses across the country.
Diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 333,000 tons of soot annually. Diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days. While EPA's standards significantly reduce emissions from newly manufactured engines, clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of harmful pollution.