The New England Produce Market, Chelsea, Mass., will receive 79 electric refrigeration units courtesy of a portion of nearly $2 million in federal stimulus funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The money was awarded July 13 to the Chelsea Collaborative, a civic group that works for the betterment of the city, with the aim of reducing diesel engine emissions in the area.
Brian Eddy, manager of the New England Produce Market, said he worked closely with the Chelsea Collaborative in applying for the federal grant.
“Chelsea is very polluted because of high industry,” Eddy said.
The stimulus money was awarded to Chelsea, which borders Boston to the north, for two projects. The first is to replace 79 diesel-fired refrigeration units at the produce market with all-electric units.
“The units sit and run constantly to keep produce fresh,” Eddy said. “That caused a lot of pollution.”
Eddy said the market has to upgrade its electrical supply as well as run pipe to all the buildings with the new electric refrigeration units.
“Hopefully,” he said, “we’ll have it done in six months.”
The second project the stimulus money will fund is to retrofit 18 city-owned diesel trucks and other equipment, a move that will reduce harmful emissions by 20%-90%, according to the EPA, which will audit both projects.
“I think it’s a bonus to the produce industry, to the community, to anyone who breathes air,” Eddy said. “It’s a start.”