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Source: US Environment Protection Agency

News Releases from Region 02

EPA to Award up to $73 million for Clean Diesel Projects

10/01/2020

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NEW YORK  – This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of four organizations in New York and New Jersey to receive funding for their projects to reduce diesel emissions by replacing engines on a marine ferry and replacing cargo-handling terminal tractors, school buses and short-haul trucks. 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.”

“Upgrading older diesel engines will improve air quality and reduce harmful air pollutants for port communities, ferry commuters and school children in New York and New Jersey,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA’s DERA funding to public and private entities allows us to strengthen partnerships and invest in innovative technologies that will benefit the environment, the economy and our most vulnerable populations.”

EPA anticipates that it will award individual grants of $588,000 to New York and $355,000 to New Jersey for their State DERA program once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

EPA has allocated $420,000 to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to replace 12 cargo handling terminal tractors with new terminal tractors that meet cleaner emissions standards at the Red Hook Container Terminal (RHCT) in Brooklyn, New York. RHCT, the owner of the terminal tractors, will receive a rebate incentive of 25% of the cost of a replacement tractor, up to a maximum of $35,000, and must document proper scrapping of the old tractor.

PANYNJ has also been selected to receive $1.25 million to replace up to 50 model year 2009 or older short-haul trucks that service Port Authority facilities with newer model year trucks that meet cleaner emissions standards. Truck owners will be offered 50% of the cost to scrap and replace each vehicle up to a maximum of $25,000. Since 2009, PANYNJ has received over $17 million in competitive DERA funding to replace about 780 short-haul trucks.

The Connecticut Maritime Foundation, Inc. will receive approximately $1 million from EPA to replace the existing marine diesel engines and related equipment on the M/V Straits Express vessel providing Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island with commuter ferry service. The ferry currently operates approximately 2,500 hours per year and consumes about 355,000 gallons of fuel annually.

To the Bay Shore school district, EPA expects to award $1.1 million to replace six diesel-powered school buses with 100% electric-powered school buses to be used in the Bay Shore, Brentwood, and Central Islip school districts in New York. Bay Shore’s electric school bus project is part of the district’s initiative to partner with their current student transportation carriers to decrease the total amount of diesel pollution school-aged children are exposed to. The initiative is called C.L.E.A.N. B.U.S.E.S., which stands for Continuously Lowering Emissions and Nitrogen Oxides Becoming Users of Sustainable Environmental Solutions.

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.

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

EPA provides grants under DERA to protect human health and improve air quality by reducing emissions from diesel engines. The particles in diesel exhaust can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose serious health risks, including increasing the risk of cancer and aggravating the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems. In addition, diesel exhaust contributes to already unhealthy levels of smog, which are formed when chemicals released by vehicles, power plants, and industrial boilers react in sunlight. The replacement of diesel engines with new, cleaner engines will reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter and other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide, providing important public health and air quality benefits.

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 more information about EPA’s National Clean Diesel campaign and DERA program, visit: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2

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