U.S. EPA awards nearly $1.5 million to reduce diesel emissions in Arizona
PHOENIX – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the award of a total of $1,486,183 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants to Maricopa County Air Quality Department and the City of Phoenix Public Works Department. The funds will be combined with matching city, state and private funds to retrofit and replace eight old, polluting diesel school buses, 14 municipal trucks and eight garbage trucks.
"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.
Maricopa County Air Quality received $486,183 to replace eight diesel school buses and 14 municipal trucks. The funds will be combined with $324,122 from the state and $2,471,115 from fleet cost-share.
“The DERA Program is a great example of ongoing collaboration between federal, state, and local partners,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisor Chairman Bill Gates. “When we work together to support this type of technology that results in cleaner air, the health of our residents is protected and harmful emissions are significantly reduced.”
City of Phoenix Public Works Department received $1,000,000 to replace eight garbage trucks. The funds will be combined with $2,194,693 from the City of Phoenix and Mr. Bults Inc.
"Over 50 percent of ozone created from man-made pollution in the Phoenix area is from driving on our roads," said Daniel Czecholinski, ADEQ Air Quality Division Director. "As newer, more fuel-efficient vehicles replace older ones across the Valley, the reduction in emissions add up to make a real difference in our effort to improve air quality."
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.