Division for Air Quality
Governor Beshear announces clean diesel funding for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, November 10, 2010  
Contact Information:  Roberta Burnes
502-564-3999, ext. 4403

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 10, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear announced today that the Kentucky Division for Air Quality (DAQ) has awarded the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) $204,947 to reduce diesel emissions from its waste-hauling fleet.  The funds were made available through the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).

“This innovative step by the leadership of Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government  to green their fleet and reduce air pollution in the area is an example of what government and individuals can do to enhance the air quality of all of Kentucky,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “These kinds of voluntary measures benefit both public health and economic development.”

“Reducing diesel emissions from a portion of our truck fleet is one of many steps we have taken to improve our environment,” Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry said. “Improving the environment has been a top priority of this administration, with the goal of leaving the environment in better condition than we found it. We have taken many steps toward that goal, and appreciate Governor Beshear’s support of the steps we are taking today.”

The project will retrofit 15, 2006 model-year refuse trucks with diesel particulate filters, reducing tail pipe emissions of particulate matter by nearly 90 percent. Particulate matter is linked to increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and other serious health problems.  Diesel engines manufactured before 2008 emit high levels of this black, sooty pollutant.

A diesel particulate filter replaces the muffler of the vehicle, trapping most of the fine particulate pollution before it can escape out the tailpipe.  Retrofitting waste-hauling equipment generates net benefits for a large number of an area’s inhabitants, as those vehicles travel on a large percentage of the area’s roads.  Waste haulers also make frequent stops and starts, which increase emissions. The grant will also be used to purchase and install a diesel particulate filter cleaning system that will be used to clean the filters of the entire fleet of refuse haulers.

“We encourage all Kentucky cities and counties to begin considering how they might address emission from their diesel and light-duty fleets,” said John Lyons, director of DAQ.  “With tighter air quality standards on the horizon, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government has proven its commitment to clean air by implementing diesel emission control technology in its fleet.  By taking steps now to reduce air pollution, local governments can be ready to meet those new standards”, said Lyons.

Retrofits, repowers, refueling with alternative fuels such as biodiesel or ethanol, purchasing vehicles with good fuel economy, and implementing idle reduction policies are all means to reduce emissions from fleet vehicles, according to Lyons.   

Additional funding for diesel reduction projects is currently available through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality until Nov. 23.  Details can be found by visiting the division’s website at air.ky.gov or by calling 1-800-928-0047.