South Shore Clean Cities has announced a competitive grant award program aimed at improving air quality in Lake County through Diesel Emissions Reduction projects. A total of 450-thousand dollars will be available to support qualified projects submitted by Lake County municipalities, schools and not-for-profit hospitals. The program is the result of a cooperative agreement between the BP Whiting Refinery, the Sierra Club, Save the Dunes, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Hoosier Environmental Council, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, the Environmental Integrity Project and two private citizens. An informational meeting is scheduled later this month in Hammond. Phase I will begin at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 23 with an informational pre-proposal meeting at the Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Drive in Hammond.