U.S. EPA awards over $11.8 million for clean diesel projects in California
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $11,804,942 in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant funding to partners throughout California. The DERA program is administered by the EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a clean air partnership that leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in the western states and U.S. territories.
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 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.”
“By providing funds for cleaner air technologies, we can improve air quality and public health across California,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “Public-private partnerships like the West Coast Collaborative are leading the way on reducing harmful diesel emissions and creating jobs.”
This year’s grants to California will fund the following projects:
- San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) received $3,615,564 to replace 23 older diesel trucks with 23 zero-emission, electric trucks that will operate 100% of the time within the San Joaquin Valley Air Basin, located in California’s agricultural central valley. The funds will be combined with $4,142,833 in leveraged funds from public and private partners. More information found here.
- SJVAPCD also received $3,250,000 to replace 85 diesel-powered agricultural tractors operating on farms throughout the San Joaquin Valley with new agricultural equipment having Tier 4 or cleaner engines. The funds will be combined with $9,140,625 in leveraged funds from public and private partners. More information found here.
- South Coast Air Quality Management District received $2,240,721 to replace 26 diesel-fueled Transport Refrigeration Units (TRUs) and trailers with 26 hybrid electric units; replace 15 diesel TRUs and trailers with 15 all-electric units with supporting charging infrastructure; and install 194 electrified parking spaces for the TRUs at three grocery distribution locations. More information found here.
- San Diego County Air Pollution Control District received $2,017,660 to replace one Tier 2 diesel-powered tugboat, used in vessel escort operations at the Port of San Diego, with a new tugboat powered by a zero-emission electric propulsion system. The funds will be combined with $17,611,637 in leveraged funds from public and private partners. More information found here.
- California Air Resources Board (CARB) received $680,997 to replace 6 heavy-duty school buses with all-electric alternatives throughout rural areas of California. These projects will be implemented through a partnership between CARB, the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, and participating fleets. The funds will be combined with $465,929 in matching funds from CARB, and $1,320,000 in leveraged funds from public and private partners. More information found here.
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.
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.
For details on additional nation-wide recipients, funding amounts, and projects, please visit, https://www.epa.gov/dera.
For more information on the EPA West Coast Collaborative, please visit, https://westcoastcollaborative.org.