Sens. Carper & Kaufman Hail More Environmental Funds From Recovery Plan To Help Keep Delaware Clean & Delawareans Healthy

WASHINGTON – Today Sens. Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.) hailed an announcement by the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that Delaware will receive more funds from the new Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to improve the air and water quality in the First State.

First, the state of Delaware will receive $1.73 million to retrofit diesel engines in buses through an existing State Clean Diesel Grant Program.

Sen. Carper himself authored the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005 (DERA), which authorizes the State Clean Diesel Grant Program and other clean diesel competitive grant programs designed to reduce harmful diesel emissions by as much as 90 percent.

States distribute these federal funds to help finance the installation of retrofits on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines. There are 11 million such vehicles and engines in use today.

To add to his efforts to reduce pollution from diesel vehicles, late last year, Sen. Carper led the Senate effort urging the funding of this diesel grant program at the authorized level in the Recovery Act so these funds can start getting out to states soon.

“Diesel emissions are not only dangerous to human health, but are also a key contributor to global warming. These new federal dollars will go a long way toward protecting the health of Delawareans, cleaning up our air and creating much-needed jobs for our economy,” said Sens. Carper and Kaufman.

Delaware also can use these new federal funds to leverage even more cleanup funding from the EPA, private investors and other sources.

Today, the EPA also announced that more than $1.2 million is also available to Delaware to assess and clean up leaking underground storage tanks.

The EPA estimates that these funds will create or retain a significant number of jobs and contribute to at least 1,600 cleanups around the country.

Leaking underground storage tanks can contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans.

“In our state, the majority of water systems are small and rural community water systems and this money is a one-two punch to help these communities. First, it will begin to ensure that all Delawareans have access to clean drinking water, uncontaminated by hazardous materials that leak into the ground from old storage tanks. Second, it will help create jobs at shovel-ready sites,” said both senators. “It’s a win-win.”