Grants awarded to support cleaner vehicles, improve air quality
RALEIGH - State environmental officials have awarded $223,550 in grants for projects to reduce air pollution from diesel-powered mobile sources.
“Cars, trucks and other mobile sources collectively contribute significantly to air pollution in North Carolina,” said Sheila Holman, director of the N.C. Division of Air Quality, or DAQ. “These grants will help assist the transition to cleaner-running diesel vehicles.”
Mobile sources are any type of vehicle that can pollute the air, including automobiles, trucks, buses, locomotives, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, construction equipment and lawnmowers. The grants can cover a range of projects, such as retrofitting school buses with controls to curb diesel emissions, repowering non-road equipment with cleaner-burning engines, converting vehicles to run on alternative fuels.
The projects funded by the grants will assist DAQ in its efforts to protect and improve air quality in North Carolina. Air quality has improved substantially across North Carolina over the past decade, with the entire state now meeting current standards for major air pollutants such as ozone, particle pollution and carbon monoxide.
The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources awarded the grants through the 2014 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grants program, which is administered through the Division of Air Quality. Funding for this year's grants came from the Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emission Reduction Act, or DERA program. The purpose of DERA is to support grant, rebate and loan programs which are designed to achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions.
The 2014 grant winners include four projects. The recipients and grant amounts awarded are:
- the city of Thomasville, which received $45,000 to replace a refuse truck
- Iredell County, which received $37,500 to replace a refuse truck
- the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, which received $102,250 to replace five school buses
- the N.C. Department of Transportation, which received $38,800 to apply a selective catalytic reduction unit to a locomotive.