The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that over $5.1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funds have been granted to five organizations to aid in diesel emissions reductions in EPA Region 7. The funds are part of $64 million allocated nationwide this fiscal year through DERA’s grant program. Region 7 consists of the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska along with nine Tribal Nations
According to EPA, via DERA it provides support for retrofits, engine upgrades, vehicle replacements, idle reduction, cleaner fuels and financing for clean technologies for trucks, buses, and non-road equipment. Overall, the improvements funded by these grants consist of EPA-verified and certified technologies to assist in the reduction of diesel emissions.
Among the groups selected for the grants:
- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. is to receive a $1 million grant to implement a project with a total cost of more than $2.3 million. Through the project, approximately 300 emission-cutting auxiliary power units (APUs) will be installed in long-haul diesel trucks operating in EPA Regions 6 and 7.
- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is to receive more than $1.8 million in federal funds with a state cost share of $382,425. This grant will aid in improvements to school buses, trash trucks and concrete mixers, as well as switch engine locomotives in Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City. Improvements will include vehicle replacements, the addition of diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), and/or the addition of anti-idling technologies to cut diesel emissions.
- The National School Transportation Assn. is to receive $362,642 in federal funds for vehicle replacements on five school buses in Richmond, MO and Perry County, MO that meet EPA emission standards for 2010. The grant will also fund the installation of 45 fuel-operated heaters to school buses, which will reduce idle time. The federal grant, along with $243,142 in mandatory cost shares, brings the total amount of improvements to reduce diesel emissions to $605,784 for this project.
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been selected to receive $233,218 to assist with school bus upgrades and the installations of three APUs on long-haul trucks in Wichita. The grant, paired with $45,394 in state matching funds, will also allow APUs to be installed in five in-town trucks. A construction repower and upgrade project will also be completed in the Kansas City area.
- The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi is to receive $190,000 in federal funding and will match that amount in mandatory cost shares. The grant will assist in the replacement of four school buses for the community at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, IA.
According to EPA, every dollar invested in reducing diesel exhaust will yield up to $13 in public health benefits. Through the use of this funding, there is potential for approximately $4 billion of health benefits nationwide, the agency noted.
Since Congress first appropriated funds under this program, 279 grants totaling nearly $350 million have been awarded.
EPA noted that funding for this year’s grants is provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program.