“These cost-effective projects will help Alaska speed its journey to recovery,” said EPA Acting Region 10 Administrator Michelle Pirzadeh. “This funding will bolster the state’s economy and create new, green jobs that will improve air quality in Alaska.”

The funds provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 will go both to State of Alaska agencies as part of a ‘lead by example effort and toward grants for devices such as engine pre-heaters or “temp-a-start” units to help vehicle operators reduce idling during extreme cold. The State of Alaska agency recipients include Alaska Railroad and the Alaska Department of Transportation. A request for proposals for the idle reduction grants will be forthcoming from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

In addition to helping to create and retain jobs, the clean diesel projects would reduce premature deaths, asthma attacks and other respiratory ailments, lost work days, and many other health impacts every year. It’s estimated that the health benefits from diesel emissions reductions outweigh the costs by a ratio of up to 13-to-1.

Under ARRA’s State clean diesel funding program, $88.2 million is divided equally through a noncompetitive allocation process, meaning that all 50 states and the District of Columbia will receive $1.73 million.

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

US President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 17, 2009 and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability.