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Arizona DEQ to get $1.73 million from EPA

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality is getting $1.73 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to install plug-in systems for semi-trucks along roadways, which will reduce pollution from idling trucks.

The money is coming from the federal stimulus package.

When drivers hauling goods across the state stop to rest, they often keep their engines idling to keep air-conditioning running in the truck cabs as well as cooling systems running in the trailers.

“The trucks can park, the drivers can sleep, and they plug into this thing,” DEQ spokesman Mark Shaffer said. “They have one unit for the cab and one to cool the vegetables or whatever they are carrying in the back.”

Shaffer said the money is expected to fund about 80 of the plug-in stations at public and private truck stops across the southern part of the state.

Trucking companies are expected to pay for the electricity, but the cost should be half what they pay in fuel for idling trucks, Shaffer said.

Contractors should be selected this summer and the work must be finished by September 2010, he said.

“If they are going to be down in that area very long, we want them to use this,” he said.

Under the clean-diesel funding program in the stimulus, $88.2 million is divided equally so all 50 states and the District of Columbia each will receive $1.73 million, according to the EPA announcement.

States, local governments, non-profits and tribal agencies can also compete for a portion of $206 million under the national clean-diesel funding program.


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