The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $8 million to communities in 21 states and Puerto Rico to reduce emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of diesel engines through the agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program. The grants will fund projects such as retrofitting older school buses to improve air quality for children riding to school, upgrading marine propulsion and agriculture engines, and replacing long haul truck engines. Each project will improve air quality and support economic growth in local communities.
“Supporting clean diesel projects like these is one way EPA helps make a visible difference in communities across the country,” says Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Cleaner trucks, buses, boats and heavy equipment keep local economies working and thriving while better protecting the health of the neighborhoods near ports and along delivery routes.”
The 21 projects will receive funding through the EPA’s DERA Fiscal Year 2014 allocation. The selected projects are cost-effective and will impact fleets operating in areas that will benefit from additional steps to protect air quality and public health.
EPA estimates that every $1 in DERA funding generates up to $13 in health care savings. The DERA funding covers engine replacements, re-powers and idle reduction technologies to clean up a variety of older diesel engines, including those in heavy-duty trucks used at ports, delivery trucks, long-haul trucks, marine vessels, school buses and even agricultural equipment.
Diesel engines are extremely efficient but emit air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). These pollutants are linked to a range of serious health problems including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments, and even premature death. Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded more than 700 grants in 600 communities across the country. Many of these projects fund cleaner diesel engines that operate in economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart and lung disease.
The full list of projects selected for 2014 DERA funds:
- San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District is replacing 48 trucks model year 1991 to 2003 with trucks powered by 2013 or newer model year engines.
- South Coast Air Quality Management District is replacing 11 on-road drayage trucks (model year 1991 to 1995), nine school buses with compressed natural gas (CNG), and one school bus with a battery-electric vehicle.
- Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is retrofitting 36 school buses with technologies to cut soot and reduce idling.
- Delaware River and Bay Authority is re-powering two Tier 0 marine propulsion engines in one vessel with Tier 3 engines.
Delaware and Virginia
- Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association Inc. is providing incentives to voluntarily replace 19 drayage trucks operating 1995 to 2003 engines.
Florida and South Carolina
- American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest is installing APUs on locomotive switch engines and replacing 12 diesel refuse haulers with CNG haulers.
- Franklin Soil & Water Conservation District is replacing three school buses and four agriculture engines and converting three irrigation pumps to clean burning electric.
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin
- Leonardo Academy is retrofitting five trucks, five buses and two excavators with technology to cut soot and reduce idling; replacing eight long-haul trucks and three refuse haulers with vehicles that run on CNG; replacing 14 long-haul trucks and two school buses; and re-powering one crusher from Tier 0 to Tier 3.
- Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) Ventures Inc., is re-powering two Tier 1 marine propulsion engines with new Tier 3 engines and replacing two generator sets powered with Tier 0 engines with new Tier 3 generator sets.
- Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management is re-powering two unregulated fishing boats each with a new Tier 3 engine.
- Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision is replacing five short-haul trucks and one crane.
- St. Louis Clean Cities is replacing six school buses.
New Jersey and New York
- New Jersey Clean Cities Coalition is re-powering seven marine vessels with 13 Tier 3 engines.
- The Connecticut Maritime Foundation is re-powering two Tier 0 marine propulsion engines in one ferry with Tier 3 engines.
- Mecklenburg County Air Quality is replacing three pieces of landfill equipment and re-powering four engines.
- Beyond Toxics is replacing one truck and installing advanced exhaust controls on seven trucks.
- Puerto Rico Metropolitan Bus Authority is retrofitting 17 transit buses with diesel particle filters (DPF).
Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana
- Leonardo Academy is retrofitting school buses with exhaust controls and are retiring eight delivery vehicles early.
- North Central Texas Council of Governments is installing EPA-verified SmartWay truck stop electrification at four trucking terminals.
- Port of Houston is replacing 14 drayage trucks.
- Utah Department of Environmental Quality is retrofitting three long-haul trucks with DPFs and retrofit 25 UDOT vehicles with DPFs.