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Mass. to Retrofit 8400 Diesel Buses by 2010

Massachusetts will spend (PDF) $22.5 million to retrofit 8400 public school and regional transit buses by 2010. The deal is designed to offset pollution from the Big Dig, The Boston Globe reports.

Some 7,800 diesel-powered school buses and 600 regional transit buses will be retrofitted with filters that are expected to ultimately reduce emissions by as much as 90 percent when used with a cleaner fuel many of the vehicles now use.

“This agreement reflects the Commonwealth’s commitment to ensure that the air quality impacts of the Central Artery Project are effectively mitigated,” Environmental Affairs Secretary Robert Golledge said. “The completion of the Silver Line tunnel connection linking South Station, Boylston Street and the New England Medical Center will improve both transit and air quality.”

The agreement states that a Silver Line grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration by December 31, 2010, and the MBTA will complete construction of the Silver Line Phase III by December 2016.

The state’s transportation agency (EOT) will commit $22.5 million to retrofit all diesel powered regional transit and public schools buses in the state by September 30, 2010. EOT will provide $7.5 million annually in 2007, 2008 and 2009 to accomplish that goal.

Further conditions of the agreement include:

• EOT will direct $125,000 to the MBTA to perform additional testing of locomotive diesel oxidation catalysts on T commuter rail locomotives. Once tested and approved, EOT will direct an additional $125,000 to the MBTA to install diesel oxidation catalysts on commuter rail locomotives; and

• The continued implementation and compliance with the MHD off-road construction equipment diesel retrofit program, certifying that all contractor equipment over 50 horsepower, that is used on state construction projects, has been diesel retrofitted.

More information about Massachusetts’ diesel emission reduction efforts and the health impacts of diesel exhaust.

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