The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $5 million in federal stimulus funds to help reduce pollution from diesel vehicles in Illinois. and $1.8 million for studies looking at ways to improve water quality around the state.
The Illinois EPA will receive more than $4 million to clean up or replace 675 diesel vehicles and engines throughout the state.
Chicago’s Department of the Environment will receive $1 million to install diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel-fired heaters on city vehicles. The money also will help buy two new hybrid diesel electric aerial trucks.
Federal environment officials say the projects will create jobs, improve air quality and reduce premature deaths and respiratory ailments.
The office of U.S. Sen. Roland Burris says the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has also secured around $1.8 million for studies looking at ways to improve water quality around the state.
Illinois has already begun spending around $180 million in federal stimulus on various sewage projects. Most of those projects are geared toward upgrading aging sewage pipes or treatment plants.
The new money is meant to help states identify water pollution problems and then come up with possible solutions. Among the problems they might focus on is how any drastic changes in the climate could affect water quality.