For Immediate Release
Contact: Cindy Drucker or Susan Green
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EPA Administrator Christie Whitman Joints in Announcing First Clean Air Communities Project
Nation's First Advanced Electrification Project to Reduce Idling Truck Emissions
New York, NY (August 6, 2001) - EPA Administrator Christie Whitman joined with New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin Crotty and community-based environmental organizations at Hunts Point Cooperative Market in the South Bronx to announce the first project funded through Clean Air Communities, a new nonprofit entity designed to bring clean air technologies to disenfranchised communities.
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman stated, "Clean Air Communities represents a model for innovative public-private partnerships to reduce air pollution right where it is generated. Clean Air Communities sponsors initiatives that combine the knowledge and urgency of local residents with the fiscal resources and expertise of business, state and federal partners to improve air quality in urban neighborhoods that need it most."
"Governor Pataki has demonstrated unprecedented leadership in promoting environmental protection initiatives, and we are pleased to be part of Clean Air Communities, an innovative program to address environmental issues at the local level," DEC Commissioner Crotty stated. "Our partnership with EPA, NESCAUM, local citizens and officials, and concerned community groups is strengthening our efforts to promote clean air and protect public health in the environment."
Ashok Gupta, director of air and energy programs for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) added, "The quality of the air you breathe in New York City shouldn't be based on the neighborhood in which you live. This program gives disproportionately affected New York City communities the resources and ability to lead the clean air charge. By implementing locally-based energy efficiency and clean air strategies, neighborhood residents will experience the full benefits of emission reductions."
Clean Air Communities (CAC) is a partnership between Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC), Consolidated Edison and Northeast States Clean Air Foundation (NESCAF)/ Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), with guidance from New York City community-based organizations and prominent environmental, health and academic entities, designed to advance the goals of environmental equity through funding, technical assistance and ongoing project implementation of clean air technologies in targeted urban areas. Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), a non-profit organization representing the eight Northeast states on air quality issues, is providing program management and staff support for CAC.
CAC will initially award $5 million, donated by Con Edison, to fund clean air and energy efficiency projects. This initial funding will be supplemented by additional resources from corporations, philanthropic entities and manufacturers of clean air technologies.
Kevin Burke, president of Consolidated Edison stated, "The 14,000 people who work at Con Edison share a concern and responsibility to protect our natural resources. All of us have a vested interest in ensuring that the air is healthy - for us, our co-workers, our neighbors, friends and children. The Clean Air Communities project is a terrific example of how a public-private partnership can make New York an even better place to live, neighborhood by neighborhood."
The first CAC project is being awarded to Sustainable South Bronx, the New York Power Authority and IdleAire Technologies Corporation to install and utilize innovative truck stop electrification technology at the Hunts Point Cooperative Market, the world's largest wholesale food distribution center. This is the first operational anti-idling advanced electrification project in the country. Initially, the project partners will design, construct and operate a system capable of accommodating 32 trucks on a 24-hour per day basis. At full operation, the 32 bay project is expected to eliminate over 2,000 tons of pollutants each year, including over 15 tons of NOx, 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide and nearly a ton of toxic particulate matter annually. Nationally, idling trucks waste nearly a billion gallons of diesel fuel each year and truck stop electrification prevents a gallon of diesel fuel per hour of idling.
New York Power Authority senior vice president Robert Tscherne said, "New York State is on the road to a unique remedy for air quality concerns associated with idling engines at truck stops. With Governor Pataki's encouragement and support, the Power Authority is proud to support the efforts which have resulted in a roll out of this exciting technology here at Hunts Point."
In relating the project benefits to the South Bronx community, Majora Carter, executive director of Sustainable South Bronx stated, "In a community like Hunts Point, where one out of every three children has asthma, finding strategies to improve air quality is truly a matter of life and death. Sustainable South Bronx's proposal to Clean Air Communities for The Hunts Point Truck Bay/Trailer Electrification Pilot Project was conceived of as a direct response to community concerns about the effects of heavy concentrations of diesel emissions on air quality. The project offers a double benefit to the Hunts Point community by presenting an example of a technology that can improve the overall quality of life for the entire neighborhood while demonstrating a model for positive and effective residential and business community relations."
"On behalf of the 50 businesses and over 3,000 employees working at Hunts Point Cooperative Market," said Steven Schwartzreich, President of the Board, Hunts Point Cooperative Market, "we are thankful that Clean Air Communities is providing the funding and technical support for this pioneering project."
David Everhart, CEO and Chairman of IdleAire Technologies Corporation stated, "Here at Hunts Point Cooperative Market, we are proving that truck/trailer electrification is indeed alive and well. When drivers switch off the engine, they save on fuel and maintenance costs, and eliminate noise, vibrations and fumes associated with idling."
Reflecting on the founding of Clean Air Communities, Jason Grumet, executive director of NESCAF/NESCAUM stated, "All communities have not shared equally in our nation's clean air progress. We formed Clean Air Communities to bring together the unique combination of community knowledge, financial and technical resources, and individuals needed to confront chronic urban air pollution problems. Communities have long been provided a right-to-know about the air pollution sources that affect them. Through CAC, communities can acquire resources needed to support the right to act."