The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making approximately $40 million available as grant funding to commercial- and service-vehicle fleet operators, to be used to help update their assets in line with current and pending diesel emissions standards. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country,” stated EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA will continue to target funds to areas facing significant air-quality issues.”
The funding would be available for retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines.
The EPA is making the funds available through the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) to eligible applicants, subject to fund availability. EPA- or CARB-certified or verified technologies qualify for the funds, as do NGV repowers and replacements.
According to the agency, diesel-powered engines move approximately 90% of U.S. freight tonnage, and nearly all highway freight trucks, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels are powered by diesel engines.
“Steps to reduce emissions from older diesel trucks are some of the most cost-effective measures we can take to improve the air Americans breathe,” stated Rep. Ken Calvert, of California. “By prioritizing the DERA grant funding in regions that have some of our most complex air-quality challenges, the resources being awarded can make a significant impact.”
EPA anticipates awarding 20 to 80 assistance agreements, with the maximum value of the assistance varying by region. For example, in Region 1 (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont), grant proposals will be accepted for up to $1 million; in Region 5 (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin), the maximum value is $3 million.
Since it was implemented in 2008, the DERA program has awarded funds to over 730 projects nationwide.