Contact: Pamela McCurdy, 651-757-2559
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) continues to utilize funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean up diesel engines and help improve Minnesota’s air quality. Nearly half of all air pollution in the state is created by transportation, and older diesel engines are a strategic target of both the MPCA and the EPA.
In recent years the MPCA has used state and federal funding to help reduce emissions on about 2,500 heavy-duty diesel engines in the state, beginning first with school buses and then public snowplows and dump trucks.
Beginning Nov. 14, the MPCA will be seeking applicants to use its federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant funding to improve a wider range of fleets. Applications must be received by Dec. 22, 2011, and projects must be completed by Aug. 31, 2012.
The MPCA’s new target will be public and private on-road and off-road diesel fleets older than 2007 that operate in Minnesota, with preference given to those operating in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area. Focus remains on the Twin Cities because air quality there is close to exceeding the national air quality health standards for fine particles and ozone.
“Diesel engines are essential due to their longevity and efficiency, but older diesels pollute significantly more than other vehicles in terms of fine particle pollution,” MPCA Assistant Commissioner David Thornton said. “Overall the air quality is improving in the state, but more medical studies showing health problems at lower levels of air pollution prompted the EPA to make standards more strict in recent years,” he explained.
The current Request for Propossl (RFP) will fund EPA-approved technologies, including idle reduction, emission controls, hybrid replacement and engine re-powers. Vehicle and equipment examples include on-road class 5 (16,000 lb. gross vehicle weight) or larger delivery trucks, off-road construction equipment, generators of 100-300 horsepower, and refrigeration units for delivery trucks.
The minimum award is $10,000 and the maximum award is $150,000. Vehicles and equipment must be in working order to be eligible for grant funding and no work can begin until a contract agreement is approved by the MPCA. For a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP), contact Martina Cameron by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 651-757-2259. Applicants will need to give an email address to receive the RFP application and supporting materials electronically. The email subject line should read: “CR5220, Clean Diesel RFP.” More information can be found online on the MPCA’s Grants/Financial Assistance for Clean Diesel Projects page.