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Joyce Endee

$31,000 in ARRA funds approved for Isaacson Steel

February 24, 2011
BERLIN — Isaacson Structural Steel, Inc. (ISSI), was awarded $31,000 on Wednesday by Governor and Council to cover up to $31,000 or 75 percent of the cost of installing a EPA-certified replacement diesel engine and associated drive mechanisms in a straddle carrier.

Isaacson installed a new diesel engine that meets Tier 3 emission standards in its 1987 model year Hyster straddle carrier. The company provided a 25 percent match, bringing the total project cost to $41,000.

"Isaacson Structural Steel, Inc., is pleased that it had the opportunity to take advantage of some of the state's 'stimulus funds,'" e-mailed senior vice president Steve Griffin. "Instead of producing diesel emissions that were harmful to the environment, ISSI has gone 'green,' and the emissions are considerably reduced."

These are tough times in the construction business, Griffin explained.

Asked how business is doing, he replied, "The construction industry has been hit very hard during this longer-than-anticipated economic downturn. We are no exception to that rule.

"We have been bidding work at or below our cost to avoid layoffs and to keep our employees working. "Obviously, a company can only go about this for so long. We hope to see a positive change in the economy, and especially in the construction industry, soon."

The pollution-reducing and job-preserving straddle carrier refurbishment project resulted from a cooperative agreement forged between the state Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency, making $1,730,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding available under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program.

The program is designed not only to reduce air pollution but also to create jobs in New Hampshire.

NHDES selected 19 projects from 16 applicants to receive some $1.5 million. ARRA-DERA grant funds are serving to leverage an almost equal amount of applicant matching funds, raising the total value of diesel emission reduction project to over $2.9 million to create or save 42 jobs. Projects funded through the ARRA-DERA program will reduce diesel emissions by an estimated 35 tons a year.

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