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Diesel Fleets Eligible for $11M in New EPA Grants

Companies that operate diesel fleets may benefit from a new grant made available by the EPA, the agency announced this week. The grant, designed to “modernize the nation’s diesel fleet” by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines, will award at least $11 million from the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant.

Diesel-powered engines move approximately 90 percent of the nation’s freight tonnage, and nearly all highway freight trucks, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels are powered by diesel engines, according to the EPA.

EPA is looking for projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure. The agency encourages applications from fleets in areas designated as having poor air quality. Priority will be given to projects that engage local communities and applicants that demonstrate their ability to continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.

Eligible applicants include regional, state, local and tribal agencies, and port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. The application deadline is June 20, 2017.

EPA anticipates awarding between 20 and 80 assistance agreements under this competition. Applicants must request funding from their EPA regional office. The maximum grant funding for individual applications varies by region.

Diesel Engines Under Scrutiny

Since Volkswagen’s diesel emissions cheating scandal in 2015, diesels have been under the microscope, points out Car Buzz.

Volkswagen said last month that it has agreed to pay about $157.45 million to 10 states to resolve environmental claims related to the automaker’s scandal.

The settlement covers the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. In June 2016, VW reached a $603 million agreement with 44 other US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to resolve state consumer protection claims.

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