The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $513,000 to Alaska & Washington tribes to protect communities from diesel emissions.
The Chalkyitsik village, a rural Alaskan Native village, South of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, received over $212,000 to replace two Tier-0, unregulated generators that are the sole power-supply to the village, with two new, certified Tier-3 low-emission generators.
The village wrote the 'Diesel Emissions Act' grant through the EPA.
This is an annual program where the EPA focuses on communities who need to upgrade machinery to reduce diesel emissions.
Because the old generators are located near the village's school, EPA spokesperson, Bill Dunbar, says new generators will help with both air quality, and help the children of the village focus on their studies.
"These new generators would dramatically reduce the amount of pollution in the village, and particularly in the winter time when there are inversions. Emissions can hover near the ground and can cause significant health problems for people who have respiratory diseases so on the public health side, this should make a significant difference.
In addition, where the generators are situated at the village is very near the school and that was one of the issues highlight by the village when they applied for the grant is that these old generators make a lot of noise and they produce a lot of noise pollution that can interfere with the school day and with learning at the school. It's sort of a two-for(one) here particularly important on the public health side, reduce emissions, but also to reduce the amount of noise that is being generated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."