The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded approximately $1.1 million in grant monies to Cascade Sierra Solutions for a project that will provide rebates to New England-based truck owners who install fuel-saving and emissions reduction technology. Dubbed, the “Great SmartWay Rebate Program,” the project was developed to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions by providing a rebate incentive to truck owners to install up to three pieces of fuel-saving and emissions reduction equipment per truck, and up to 188 pieces per fleet.
According to Cascade Sierra, the equipment choices may include: idle reduction devices, aerodynamic fairings, reduced rolling resistance tire/wheel sets, efficient transport refrigeration units and exhaust system controls. The non-profit organization anticipates subsidizing over 1800 upgrades to Class 8 diesel trucks and trailers. All equipment will be EPA and/or California Air Resource Board (CARB) certified. This project is consistent with EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, which promotes energy efficiency and emissions reduction technology and strategies within and across freight modes, including trucking.
Funds are provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009, National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 1 alone (which includes the New England states) received over 30 grant applications requesting $35.8 million to help fund clean diesel emissions projects. The awards announced were chosen to both maximize economic impact and emissions reductions.
"Investing in Clean Diesel projects through the Recovery Act is a down payment on protecting health, improving air quality, helping the economy and creating jobs in our communities," said Ira Leighton, acting regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "New England has some of the highest rates of asthma in the country. By reducing diesel emissions - especially in urban areas - we are helping thousands of our neighbors to breathe easier."
According to the EPA, pollution from diesel engines is a widespread problem across New England and it significantly contributes to air pollution, especially in urban areas. EPA New England is working to advance cleaner diesel engines, promote pollution control technology, prevent unnecessary idling and ultimately, “make the black puff of smoke that can come from these engines an image of the past.”