3 April 2008

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced availability of nearly $50 million in grant funding to establish clean diesel projects aimed at reducing emissions from the existing fleet of diesel engines. The funding—funded for the first time this fiscal year—was authorized by the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and incorporated within the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The program will be administered by EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) and its network of seven collaboratives, made up of EPA regional offices and public and private sector partners.

The EPA will distribute approximately $27 million through a competitive grant system that would favor the most cost-effective programs affecting the greatest number of Americans. The remaining funds will be used to support emerging technologies, new financing programs and provide matching funds for states that develop their own retrofit funding programs. A state matching funds component was included in order to further leverage the money appropriated by Congress.

The grants are targeting school or transit buses, medium and heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives and nonroad engines. Grant recipients can use a variety of emission reduction strategies, such as EPA-verified retrofit and idle-reduction technologies, EPA-certified engine upgrades, vehicle or equipment replacements, cleaner fuels and creation of innovative clean diesel financing programs. State, local, regional and tribal governments can apply for the grants, as well as non-profits and institutions with transportation, educational services and air quality responsibilities.

Some EPA Regional offices—such as EPA Region 7, in conjunction with the Blue Skyways Collaborative—have already started issuing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for grant applications and, along with EPA Headquarters, will continue to roll them out throughout the spring.

The funding was applauded by the Diesel Technology Forum, a diesel industry group. More information about funding opportunities is available through the NCDC web site.

More than 400,000 existing diesel engines have already been retrofitted during the NCDC campaign’s first few years.

Source: US EPA