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Press Release

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For Immediate Release

Glenn Goldstein, CAC (631) 472-0011
Connie Cullen, NYPA (914) 390-8196
Hugh Weinberg, Queens BP (718) 286-2880

Queens Clean Air Project Advances Clean Air and Energy Innovation

Features ‘Big Belly’ Compactor in Earth Day Celebration

Queens, NY (April 22, 2005) -- The Queens Clean Air Project (QCAP), a venture of Clean Air Communities (CAC) designed to achieve community-oriented air pollution reduction and energy efficiency goals in Queens, today announced that four innovative projects have received a total of $1.4 million in funding. QCAP is a collaborative partnership launched in 2003 by Clean Air Communities’ parent organization, the Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future (NESCCAF), and the New York Power Authority (NYPA), with a contribution of nearly $2 million in initial funding by NYPA.

In conjunction with the announcement, QCAP today unveiled the 'Big Belly' solar powered trash compactor project during an Earth Day celebration at Queens Borough Hall. The project, to "Keep Queens Clean", awards Seahorse Power Company $225,000.00 to demonstrate 'Big Belly', an innovative and intelligent solar powered trash compactor technology for the urban environment of Queens. "These trash compactors are a welcome addition to our combined effort to reduce the waste stream and 'Keep Queens Clean!' They will reduce the number of pickups necessary and use solar energy to improve the environment. The icing on the cake is that we get to accept their arrival here in Queens on Earth Day," said Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall. "I want to thank the Queens Clean Air Project for supporting innovative programs that reduce pollution and raise awareness about protecting our environment."

Calling on the community to "Keep Queens Clean!", the QCAP project partners will distribute fifty (50) 'Big Belly' units throughout Queens Neighborhoods in the coming weeks and months in an effort to reduce litter on the street, promote renewable energy awareness and enhance local air quality in the community through fewer diesel truck pick-ups. Arthur Marin, Executive Director of NESCCAF stated, "This project exemplifies the spirit of QCAP by bringing together diverse partners around a unique technology solution that helps keep the community clean and at the same time serves to demonstrate the viability of solar energy for everyday applications."

Designed as a replacement for the open-top, curbside trash container, the Seahorse 'Big Belly' harnesses the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells and battery storage for efficient trash compaction. A sensor 'eye' detects when contents are ready to be compacted. Once signaled, a steel compaction ram that delivers up to 1500 pounds of pressure, automatically crushing the unsuspecting trash in a process that can be repeated dozens of consecutive times thanks to the highly efficient motor unit. The 'Big Belly' delivers a 9 to 1 compaction ratio, meaning more room for garbage, cleaner streets, increased maintenance intervals, and less frequent pick ups. "Trashcans today are mostly filled with air, so they must be collected much more often than necessary," said Seahorse President James Poss. "Our technology offers a solution to that expensive and inefficient process by compacting trash on-site to 1/6th or 1/8th its original volume. We at Seahorse Power are thrilled to work with our partners at QCAP to implement a new, more efficient way to collect garbage. It will make Queens a cleaner, healthier place."

Along with the Big Belly project to "Keep Queens Clean!", three additional projects, made possible by NPYA funding, are being announced today. "The Power Authority has a long history of benefiting the Queens environment through energy-efficiency and clean energy programs," said Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief executive officer, NYPA. "NYPA continues this commitment, under Governor George E. Pataki's clean energy policies, by participating in and supporting QCAP's efforts, like utilizing the Big Belly which employs clean, renewable solar energy to help keep both the air and neighborhood streets cleaner."

Additional projects announced today are:

Delta Airlines -- awarded $469,000 to replace 15 diesel and gasoline powered tugs and baggage handling equipment with fast charging, zero-emissions electric vehicles at New York's La Guardia Airport (LGA). Delta will replace all eleven fossil fueled vehicles at the Marine Air Terminal, operated by Delta, and four vehicles at the Main Terminal. Co-funding will be provided by NYPA, who conceived the project concept, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) through the Federal ILEAV program, and by Delta through a direct cash contribution. The partners will work with QCAP to develop a public clean air marketing campaign at Delta facilities in the two participating terminals. "Delta would like to gratefully acknowledge funding appropriated by QCAP and is proud to be selected as a partner in this project, which will achieve significant reductions in vehicle emissions at our LGA Airport by converting internal combustion vehicles to zero emission electric units," stated Clay Cole, Delta Program Manager, GSE Compliance. “The LGA electrification project is a beginning step at improving air quality for our local community, and airport passengers and employees."

New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) -- is retrofitting 60 refuse collection trucks with advanced emission control technologies to reduce particulate matter and other harmful pollutants from diesel exhaust. All 60 trucks operate in the Northwest Queens. Two innovative technologies will be implemented, including Environmental Solutions Worldwide's Diesel Particulate Reactor, a catalyzed wire mesh filter, and Cleaire's Longview, a lean NOx catalyst and diesel particulate filter combination device. The project, totaling $422,000 in funding, also includes chassis dynamometer testing to quantify overall control technology effectiveness. DSNY Commissioner, John J. Doherty said, "DSNY is proud to be an integral part of the QCAP. N.Y.C. Sanitation is among the first fleets in the nation to participate in the EPA's Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program and the first City Agency to use ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel citywide. This Program will further DSNY's experience in utilizing the latest cutting edge technology to reduce diesel exhaust emissions."

Silvercup Studios -- received a second round of funding in the amount of $280,000 to expand the green roof system on the Silvercup Studios film and television studio in Long Island City . The Silvercup Green Roof Project will cover 28,000 square feet with a thin layer of vegetation ("sedums") that insulate the building, conserve energy and reduce air pollution. Silvercup Studios has been used for popular TV productions such as "Sopranos" and "Sex in the City." The green roof installation will commence this summer. QCAP funding will also enable a team of scientists to study the benefits of implementing green roof technology.

QCAP is a collaborative partnership of NESCCAF, NYPA, Office of the President, Borough of Queens (Queens BP), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). QCAP seeks to build coalitions and improve communications among diverse stakeholders concerned with renewable and alternative energy and air quality issues. A Steering Committee comprised of NESCCAF, NYPA, Queens BP, NRDC, NYPIRG, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation identifies, evaluates, and selects projects based on several key criteria, including: environmental and public health benefits, technical feasibility, cost-effectiveness, community benefit, replicability, and geographic factors. Clean Air Communities serves in the role of overall project administration and support by providing the financial, legal, technical, implementation and management capacity on behalf of QCAP.

Since its inception in 2000, Clean Air Communities has directed almost $7 million to projects ranging from advanced truck stop electrification installation at Hunts Point Cooperative Market to a green roof system atop Silvercup Studios in Long Island City to an emissions reduction project for construction equipment at 7 World Trade Center to a natural-gas-fired micro turbine project at Clinton Hill Apartments in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Through matching funds, leveraged funding and in-kind contributions from project partners, that $5 million has translated into more than $11 million in value to date.

© 2003-2009 Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future (NESCCAF)