U.S. EPA awards more than $11.6 million to reduce diesel emissions in California
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the award of a total of $11,669,399 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants to tribal, public and private partners across California. The grants will be combined with matching funds to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, fire engines, heavy-duty trucks, tractors, port and construction equipment.
"By promoting clean diesel technologies, we can improve air quality and human health, advance American innovation and support green jobs," said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. "Reducing exposure to diesel pollution is important for everyone, particularly children, one of our most sensitive populations.”
Throughout October, EPA is celebrating Children’s Health Month and highlighting many programs and resources that states, territories and local partners can use to protect our nation’s children. Since Oct. 1, 2018, EPA has awarded more than $9 million in DERA funding for rebates to replace older diesel school buses with newer, cleaner vehicles. DERA grants have supported nearly 25,000 cleaner buses across the country for America's schoolchildren.
The 2019 DERA grants awarded in California will fund the following projects:
- Blue Lake Rancheria received $78,562 to replace one wildland fire engine. The funds will be combined with $311,427 from Blue Lake Rancheria and the Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement.
- California Air Resources Board (CARB) received $556,361 to replace five diesel school buses with electric, zero-emission buses. The funds will be combined with $505,457 from CARB and $1,182,500 in fleet cost-share funds.
- City of Long Beach Harbor Department received $1,500,000 to replace three port cranes. The funds will be combined with $5,100,000 from Total Terminals International LLC.
- Morongo Band of Mission Indians received $283,841 to replace two school buses and two backhoes. These funds will be combined with $283,842 from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
- San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District (SJVUAPCD) received three grants totaling $6,961,054 to replace 103 agricultural tractors, three locomotives and 17 trucks. These funds will be combined with $21,511,344 from SJVUAPCD and fleet cost share.
- South Coast Air Quality Management District received $2,289,581 to replace 35 municipal trucks. These funds will be combined with $1,575,000 from CARB and $2,625,595 from fleet cost-share.
EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel engines remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.
From 2008 to 2016, EPA has awarded $629 million nationally to retrofit or replace 67,300 engines and equipment from port, airport, transit and school bus, rail, long and short haul truck, drayage truck, marine vessel, agriculture, construction, and other fleets. More than 454 million gallons of fuel have been saved as a result of DERA projects. EPA estimates that total lifetime emission reductions achieved through DERA include 15,490 tons of particulate matter and 472,700 tons of nitrogen oxides. These reductions have created up to $19 billion of health benefits.
These efforts in the western United States are part of the West Coast Collaborative, which leverages public and private funds and partnerships to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources. The vehicle and equipment upgrades will cut emissions of fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.