Release 09-64
July 8, 2009


Leo Kay

Obama Administration follows Governor's lead by funding diesel emissions reductions

SACRAMENTO: The following is a quote from ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols in response to today's announcement of $8.8 million in federal stimulus funding awarded to ARB to clean up old, dirty locomotives:

"Thanks to President Obama, we now have a significant influx of cash to help clean up the state's locomotives and railyards," Nichols said. "This money will reduce particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions in railyard communities while also providing a much-needed shot in the arm to our burgeoning green jobs industry."

The funding adds to the hundreds of millions of dollars that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature have secured for the retrofit and engine replacements of diesel equipment up and down the state.

The ARB has spent the past decade creating regulations and programs under its landmark Diesel Risk Reduction Plan to slash emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives, and construction equipment. Today's funding will retrofit nearly 20 percent of the older, dirtier switch or yard locomotives still operating in the Los Angeles Basin.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our web site at