U.S. EPA awards nearly $500,000 to reduce diesel emissions in Nevada
LAS VEGAS – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the award of $477,788 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants to the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP). The funds will be combined with $318,525 from NDEP and $2,223,750 from the City of Reno and Clark County School District to replace 10 diesel school buses and five municipal vehicles.
"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.
“Reducing pollution from diesel vehicles is a critical component of protecting the public health of all Nevadans, and especially of the elderly and children, who are the most sensitive to pollution from diesel emissions,” said Greg Lovato, Administrator of the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). “This year, NDEP is leveraging DERA funding to reduce diesel emissions of the most harmful pollutants from all replaced vehicles by 80 percent. NDEP is excited to utilize the latest round of DERA funds to also help replace 10 older school buses in Clark County with new clean-diesel buses to better protect the health of Nevada’s children. Collectively, these projects underscore Nevada’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas pollution, improve air quality, promoting clean energy, and fostering a vibrant and sustainable future for all Nevadans.”
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.