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MPCA targets $1.57 million to clean up diesel engines in MN


Fri, Jun 12th, 2009
Posted in State of Minnesota

St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will be releasing $1.57 million in grant money from the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) for clean diesel projects in the state. These DERA funds were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Diesel emissions are a major source of harmful air pollutants, including fine particulate matter, along with volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides that contribute to ozone formation. After-market technology systems can capture particles and reduce diesel emissions.

The clean diesel grants will be open to public and private diesel fleet owners, from small "mom and pop" operations, to cities, counties and corporate fleets. Both on-road and non-road equipment are eligible through this program, including long-haul trucks, heavy-duty public fleets, buses, construction equipment, mining equipment, locomotives and even stationary generators. The MPCA has created an application form and process for fleet owners to apply.

"These Minnesota Clean Diesel grants will not only reduce diesel emissions in our state, they will support the diesel-related manufacturing, assembly and sales jobs both in Minnesota and around the country," explained David Thornton, assistant commissioner for air policy at the MPCA. Grant funds will be available for a wide range of clean-diesel projects like idle reduction technology, including the installation of auxiliary power units to efficiently heat and cool a truck cab while idling - instead of having the big truck engine running. Idle reduction grants are a win-win situation by reducing emissions and saving the operators money.

Grant money will also be available to retrofit diesel vehicles with pollution-reducing technology, including particulate filter traps and diesel oxidation catalysts, and for engine "repowers" - replacing an older engine with a newer, cleaner one.

Finally, grant assistance will also aid public entities with the purchase of hybrid replacement vehicles. There will be applicant match requirements for some of the offered technologies. The MPCA has established a Web page to help with the application process; a Request for Proposals, application forms and related materials are available at www.pca.state.mn.us/air/cleandiesel-grants.html.

The MPCA anticipates applications from a broad range of large and small commercial and government diesel operators around the state. The agency is also an active partner of diesel emission reductions by working with Clean Air Minnesota and supporting Project Green Fleet, which has retrofitted more than 1,200 diesel school buses in Minnesota with emission-reduction technology.

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