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EPA to Award More than $3 Million for Clean Diesel Projects in Illinois

10/01/2020
Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069

ILLINOIS (October 1, 2020) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced more than $3 million specifically for clean diesel projects in Illinois and an additional $2.5 million for clean diesel projects in the Midwest that will include work in Illinois. At a press conference in Minnesota on Tuesday, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced over $73 million in grants and funding expected to be awarded to support numerous clean diesel programs and projects across the country at the state and local level. Over $50 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (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, dirty 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 EPA Administrator Andrew 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.”

“Reducing diesel emissions helps everyone breathe easier,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “The cleaner air made possible through these grants will especially benefit children and other vulnerable populations.”

EPA awarded grants for the following projects in Illinois:

A $369,441 DERA State Award to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to reduce diesel emissions throughout the state. EPA’s award will help the IEPA to undertake projects through its grant program “Driving a Cleaner Illinois” to reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter and other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.

$1,517,300 to the American Lung Association for projects including the replacement of five diesel transit buses with 5 model year 2020 or newer zero-emission electric transit buses.  The diesel emission reductions will be realized primarily in Rock Island and Henry Counties.

$594,765 to the Regional Transit Authority for a project to replace legacy diesel engine powered equipment with four new ballast regulators and three new tie cranes powered by Tier 4 diesel engines.  The equipment is categorized as maintenance of way equipment that is used to assist in the rehabilitation of railroad tracks and the resurfacing of ballast.  This equipment operates most of the time in Cook County, an EPA-designated non-attainment area, and will also operate in Will, Lake, DuPage and Kane counties in Illinois.

$591,360 to the Chicago Department of Transportation for projects including the replacement of six diesel street sweepers with new California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified low nitrogen oxide (Nox) Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) trucks.  The new vehicles will primarily operate in and around the Englewood community in the city of Chicago, a priority area for DERA funding.

EPA awarded grants for the following projects in multiple states, including Illinois:

$632,500 to National School Transportation Association for projects in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin for replacing 25 diesel school buses with engine model years 2009 or older with 25 EPA and/or CARB certified 2018 model year or newer school buses.  The primary area of focus for the project is nonattainment and air toxics assessment areas identified in the 2020 DERA Priority Area List.

$314,365 to Leonardo Academy for a project that involves replacing four non-Tiered diesel engine construction cranes with four Tier 4 diesel engine cranes in Will County, Illinois, and the counties of Hennepin and Washington in Minnesota. These cranes will be utilized in several projects including road extensions with new and reconstruction bridge components.  Not only will the cranes reduce emissions along the project areas, but the projects, once completed, will reduce emissions due to less idling time of traffic.

$1,605,142 to American Lung Association for projects including the installation of 35 auxiliary power units for line-haul locomotives, replacement of 18 refuse haulers with model year 2020 or newer optional low-NOx CNG haulers, and replacement of eight regional-haul freight trucks with model year 2020 or newer clean diesel trucks.  The three fleets operate in 54 counties throughout Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.

Under President Trump, the combined emission of criteria pollutants and their precursors dropped 7%. In the past three years, we saw 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 during the Trump Administration, EPA will have 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.

To support the Administrator’s clean air goals, the agency 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 Monday, September 28:

Recipient

Project

Award Amount

IL/IN/OH

American Lung Association

Low NOx Refuse Truck and Locomotive Idle Reduction Project

$1,605,142

IL

American Lung Association

Electric Transit Bus Replacement Project

$1,517,300

IL

Chicago Department of Transportation

Low NOx CNG Refuse Hauler and Street Sweeper Replacement Project

$591,360

IL

Commuter Rail Division of the Regional Transportation Authority

Metra Nonroad Work Equipment Replacement Project

$594,765

Region 5

National School Transportation Association

NSTA School Bus Rebate Program

$632,500

MI/WI

Coalition for Sustainable Initiatives

School Bus and Nonroad Equipment Replacement Program

$631,360

MN/IL

Leonardo Academy Inc.

Construction Crane Replacement Project

$314,365

WI

Leonardo Academy

Marine Ferry Engine Replacement Project

$80,678

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 https://www.epa.gov/dera.

Background

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.

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