The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Wednesday a partnership with industry to clean up sources of diesel pollution, according to news sources. The initial plan involves $6 million worth of voluntary projects in California, Oregon and Washington, with most of the money coming from the federal government. The EPA said it hoped to ultimately secure $100 million over five years for future projects. The initiative targets sources of diesel pollution bombarding the West Coast, from long-haul trucks to cargo ships, trains, farm equipment and earth-moving construction equipment. Nearly $1.7 million will be spent to clean up emissions from idling long-haul trucks along the Interstate 5 corridor in Oregon and California. When fully funded at the goal of $100 million, EPA officials estimated the program could remove roughly 8,000 tons of particulate pollutants and save more than $2 billion in associated health care costs. New regulations are aimed at cutting diesel pollution nationwide, beginning in 2007, and the U.S. EPA said it hoped the voluntary program would speed those goals. California has earmarked up to $140 million this year to cut diesel emissions through similar voluntary programs, but the federal program can address pollution sources that the state can't – namely, construction and farm equipment.
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