Grant to fund emission-lowering effort

Through a more than $1 million federal grant to Mississippi State University, at least 100 diesel trucks will produce fewer emissions thanks to battery-powered air-conditioning units.
Federal, state and university officials addressed the grant today at a formal ceremony at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems.
"The Mississippi State University project will make a significant impact of reducing diesel emissions by eliminating the need to idle for over 101 road trucks by installing the battery-operated air-conditioning packs," said Carol Kemker, Region 4 director of the Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The packs will be placed on trucks operated by two Mississippi companies – KLLM Transport Services and Dufour Petroleum Inc.
"Mississippi has historically enjoyed clean air," said Keith Head, environmental engineer with the Air Division of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. EPA is about to release a new ozone standard, which has led officials to took "new, unique measures for emissions reductions to help us meet that standard," Head said.
"An idle reduction strategy is so important," because it cuts emissions and lowers fuel and wear-and-tear costs, Head said. " ... That's why this project is so great."
For more on today's announcement, see Friday's edition of the newspaper.
Video shot at today's announcement is available on the newspaper's official Facebook page,