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District to Buy Alternative-Fuel Fleet Vehicles

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Media Contact: Alan Heymann (202) 741-2136

Washington, DC – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today announced that the District Department of Public Works (DPW) will buy up to 42 compressed natural gas or hybrid vehicles – reducing diesel emissions throughout the District and reducing exposure to air toxics. A combination of federal stimulus dollars and local funds will cover the cost.

“This next generation of trucks and cars will provide better service to District residents without dirtying their air,” said Mayor Fenty. “I’m pleased to see our local agencies working with our federal partners to improve the environment of the nation’s capital.”

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) applied for the federal funding as part of the State Clean Diesel Grant Program under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Using about $1.1 million in federal funds, DPW will buy approximately 18 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, such as trash compactors and front-end loaders. With $963,000 in local funds, the agency will also buy approximately 24 medium- and light-duty vehicles, such as vans and pickup trucks.

“We’ve already taken significant steps to use the cleanest diesel fuel possible for our existing vehicles, by introducing ultra-low sulfur diesel in 2007 and biodiesel this year,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr. “But these new vehicles will make our fleet even greener.”

The new additions to the fleet, all made in the United States, will replace existing vehicles and carry placards announcing that they are powered by alternative fuels.

“In a city where we don’t have heavy industry, cars and trucks have a major impact on our air quality,” said DDOE Director George S. Hawkins. “With this new fleet, and as we already do with many of our buses and small cars, the District is seizing the opportunity to work toward cleaner air and healthier residents. We’re also saving money on fuel, and putting people to work building vehicles.”

The stimulus funds came to the District via the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“This is how we create new, green jobs while we protect human health and the environment,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator William C. Early. "These cost-effective projects will help the District speed its journey to recovery, bolster the economy and create new, green jobs that will improve air quality.”