The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that nine organizations in EPA Region 7 have been selected to receive over $2.23 million from the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants Program funding. At a press conference in Minnesota, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced over $73 million in grants and funding expected to be awarded to support the numerous clean diesel programs and projects across the country at the state and local level.
DERA-funded projects typically include retrofitting or replacing legacy school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives and other heavy-duty equipment with new, cleaner technologies. Over $50 million in DERA National Grants Program funding is expected to be awarded to implement projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of old engines and vehicles. Additionally, EPA anticipates providing approximately $23.5 million under DERA’s 2020 State Grants Program to 48 states and four territories to implement their own diesel emissions reduction programs.
“EPA is proud to support our partners as they deliver cleaner air benefits to local communities across the country,” said Wheeler. “New diesel engines operate cleaner than older engines, and for each dollar invested in clean diesel projects, communities get $13 in cumulative health benefits.”
“We thank these organizations for stepping up to improve air quality in our communities. Reducing the number of older diesel engines for both on- and off-road vehicles reduces harmful emissions and helps us reach our goal of clean air across the Midwest,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.
To support the Administrator’s clean air goals, the EPA anticipates awarding these grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied. So far in 2020, EPA has finalized awards for 41 clean diesel projects and programs. The agency anticipates completing additional awards throughout the rest of the year.
The following grants have been finalized as of September 28th in EPA Region 7:
In the past three years, the combined emissions of criteria pollutants and their precursors dropped 7%, with the following drops in emissions of criteria and precursor pollutants:
- Nitrogen Oxides (NOx): -10%
- Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5): -1%
- Sulfur Dioxide (SO2): -16%
- Carbon Monoxide (CO): -6%
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): _3%
Over the last three years, EPA has awarded about $300 million in grants and rebates to modernize the diesel fleet and speed the turnover to cleaner on- and off-road, heavy-duty trucks and equipment. Much of this assistance has been provided to help better protect areas of poor air quality and areas of highly concentrated diesel pollution, such as ports and distribution centers.
As these new grants are finalized and awarded, details on recipients, funding amounts, and project types will be listed on the DERA program webpages. For more information, please visit: www.epa.gov/dera.