More than $5.1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funds have been granted to five organizations to aid in diesel emissions reductions in EPA Region 7 (including Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska and nine tribal nations. EPA Region 6 includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and 66 tribal nations.). The funds are part of $64 million allocated nationwide this fiscal year through DERA’s grant program.
Through DERA, the EPA provides support for retrofits, engine upgrades, vehicle replacements, idle reduction, cleaner fuels and financing for clean technologies for trucks, buses, and non-road equipment. Overall, the improvements funded by these grants consist of EPA-verified and certified technologies to assist in the reduction of diesel emissions.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been selected to receive more than $1.8 million in federal funds with a state cost share of $382,425. This grant will aid in improvements to school buses, trash trucks and concrete mixers, as well as switch engine locomotives in Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City. The improvements will include vehicle replacements, the addition of diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), and/or the addition of anti-idling technologies to cut diesel emissions.
The National School Transportation Association has been selected to receive $362,642 in federal funds for vehicle replacements on five school buses in Richmond, Mo. and Perry County, Mo. that meet EPA emission standards for 2010. The grant will also fund the installation of 45 fuel-operated heaters to school buses, which will reduce idle time. The federal grant, along with $243,142 in mandatory cost shares, brings the total amount of improvements to reduce diesel emissions to $605,784 for this project.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association of Grain Valley, Mo., has been selected to receive a $1 million grant to implement a project with a total cost of more than $2.3 million. Through the project, approximately 300 emission-cutting auxiliary power units (APUs) will be installed in long-haul diesel trucks operating in EPA Regions 6 and 7.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has been selected to receive $233,218 to assist with school bus upgrades and the installations of three APUs on long-haul trucks in Wichita, Kan. The grant, paired with $45,394 in state matching funds, will also allow APUs to be installed in five in-town trucks. A construction repower and upgrade project will also be completed in the Kansas City area.
The Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi has been selected to receive $190,000 in federal funding and will match that amount in mandatory cost shares. The grant will assist in the replacement of four school buses for the community at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa.
EPA estimates every dollar invested in reducing diesel exhaust will yield up to $13 in public health benefits. Through the use of this funding, there is potential for approximately $4 billion of health benefits nationwide.
The Passenger Vessel Association has been selected to receive almost $1.5 million to reduce maritime engine emissions on the Showboat Branson Belle in Branson, Mo. The grant will replace three engines and install pollution control technologies. The association will also use the funds to make improvements on vehicle-to-shore connections to assist in idle reduction.