The Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership program, established to save fuel, lower costs, and protect the environment, is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

Through participants’ commitment to the program, nearly 700 million gallons of diesel fuel is saved annually, preventing the formation of more than 6 million metric tons of carbon-dioxide (CO2) and other emissions that contribute to climate change.

SmartWay more than doubled in size this past year - from 700 to more than 1,400 - as a growing number of fleets, drivers and manufacturers joined the program.

“Through our work together, we are confident that the partnership will continue to expand in 2009 and beyond as we succeed in finding solutions that better equip our partners to operate more efficiently in the months and years ahead,” noted a SmartWay official.

The federal economic recovery plan recently signed into law includes $300 million for projects and programs targeting the transportation sector. The funds will be awarded by EPA for investment in clean, efficient diesel technologies through the states, the agency’s Clean Diesel program, the SmartWay finance program, and an initiative aimed at developing and commercializing emerging technologies that reduce emissions from diesel engines.

Detailed information on projects, equipment, and technologies that may qualify for these funds can be found at www.epa.gov/otaq/eparecovery/prognational.htm.

In addition, plans are underway to update and streamline SmartWay’s freight logistics environmental and energy performance tracking (FLEET) model which is used by partners to benchmark fuel consumption rates, CO2 emission outputs, and related measurements.