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Source: US Environment Protection Agency

News Releases from Region 04

10/01/2020

Contact Information: 

COLUMBIA (September 30, 2020) – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) announced Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments will be awarded an $805,500 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to replace two transit buses with battery electric equivalents.  

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 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (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.”

“EPA is proud to recognize the efforts to improve air quality and protect public health,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “Supporting clean diesel projects is one important way EPA helps make a visible difference in Florida communities.”

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. The following grants have been finalized as of Monday, September 28:

Recipient

Project

Award Amount

FL

City of Ocala

Refuse Truck Replacement Project

$777,000.00

FL

Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management

Refuse Truck Replacement Project

$1,852,500.00

GA

Fulton County Schools

Propane School Bus Replacement Project

$1,144,492.00

GA

Georgia Ports Authority

Dray Truck Rebate Replacement Program

$1,100,000.00

NC

Mecklenburg County Air Quality

GRADE – Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines

$500,000.00

SC

Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments

Electric Transit Bus Replacement Project

$805,500.00

As these new grants are finalized and awarded, details on recipients, funding amounts, and project types will be listed on the DERA program webpages. For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/dera.

Background

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.

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