$270,000 available in clean diesel grants
New funding for clean diesel projects. Application deadline January 7, 2016.
See the web page for application materials and complete funding details.
Grants for clean diesel projects
Highland Sanitation's Dave Stewart (co-owner) and Tom Harmon (shop manager) pose with their two new trucks purchased with assistance from an MPCA Clean Diesel grant.
Diesel engines are the workhorse of society because of their pulling power, superior efficiency and tremendous longevity. However, diesel emissions contain harmful compounds and fine particulates that are known to cause or trigger health issues, including respiratory and cardiovascular problems and cancer. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for every dollar spent on diesel emissions reduction there is up to $13 in health benefits realized.
Since 2006, MPCA Clean Diesel grants, along with collaboration with with Project Green Fleet, have reduced diesel pollution from fine particles equivalent to taking 750,000 cars off the road. That represents about 4,700 engine improvements or replacements in Minnesota to help eliminate 45 tons of fine particle pollution per year.
Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)
This smaller federal grant to states began in 2008. MPCA first focused this funding on school bus retrofits and loans for idle reduction technology devices on long-haul trucks. Recent projects include repowering five large cranes used for bridge construction and replacing six older beverage delivery trucks with new hybrid diesel-electric delivery trucks that operate in the Twin Cities metro area and a rock-crusher near Rochester.
From 2008 through 2013 a portion of MPCA’s DERA funds has gone towards retrofitting school buses and loans for idle reduction devices for long-haul trucks. But funding has declined and almost all buses older than 2007 have already been retrofit. Buses that are 2007 and newer come standard with emission-control equipment that is four times cleaner than the equipment used in the retrofits.
Low-interest loans for long-haul trucks to purchase idle-reduction devices are still available through the MPCA’s Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program.
MPCA Clean Diesel accomplishments
- MPCA grants directly reduced emissions on 912 diesel engines in Minnesota
- Shared $2.4 million in state grant money for emission reductions on 1,567 school buses
- Shared federal grant money to fund another 256 school buses; total school bus retrofits funded: 1,823
- Total engine improvements done or funded by MPCA: 2,735
- Total fine particle pollution reduced from these actions: 20 tons — the equivalent of removing 380,000 cars from the road
- Total funds for MPCA projects: approximately $6 million
The MPCA has worked to reduce diesel emissions with a number of grant programs with different targets. Together, these state and federal grants and partnerships have helped reduce emissions on more than 4,500 diesel vehicles in Minnesota as of August 2013.
- Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ)
- Clean Diesel Recovery Act
- Minnesota State School Bus Grants
Read about other grants and loans: Financial assistance: Grants and loans
All eligible fire trucks in Saint Paul and Minneapolis have been retrofitted with reduced-emission exhaust systems.
The federal CMAQ grant focused on heavy-duty public diesel vehicles in the 7-county urban area of the Twin Cities metro. Vehicle types include snow plows, dump trucks, fire trucks and garbage trucks. Projects were limited to public sector vehicles.
The program began in 2008 with a goal of 200 diesel oxidation catalyst retrofits. As of August 2012, the MPCA had secured 397 retrofits of state, city and county snowplows, dump trucks and garbage trucks. All eligible Minneapolis and Saint Paul City fire trucks have been retrofitted. In fact, there is enough funding to retrofit a few dump trucks and or fire trucks in several suburbs, including Roseville, Eagan, Maplewood, Bloomington and South St. Paul.
Clean Diesel Recovery Act
The one-time federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA or Recovery Act) grant brought $1.53 million to Minnesota for reducing diesel emissions to small and large, public and private entities statewide, beginning in late 2009. Much of the funding was awarded to trucking companies. At current diesel prices this successful grant will save Minnesota long-haul trucking grantees more than $600,000 each year in fuel.
This clean diesel Recovery Act grant generated more than $2 million into the local economy for diesel equipment and installation, because of in-kind matching money from grantees. Sixty-eight grant projects reduced emissions on 282 vehicle engines.
Diesel vehicle projects included 155 auxiliary power units to reduce idling of long-haul trucks, 71 trailer refrigeration-engine repowers and seven main-engine repowers. It also included retrofitting emission controls on 49 fleet vehicles in construction, public and tribal fleets.
The grant began in 2009 and ended March 31, 2011. More information about it is available here: Clean Diesel Recovery Act Grant.
In 2006, the MPCA began retrofitting school buses with diesel oxidation catalyst mufflers, working in a close partnership with Clean Air Minnesota and the Minnesota Environmental Initiative to help launch Project Green Fleet.
In 2008, the Minnesota Legislature gave the MPCA $2.4 million for this important work.
About 1,500 school buses were retrofit with pollution reducing exhaust systems through state grant funding. As of June 30, 2011, 2,751 Minnesota school buses have been retrofit overall from state and federal grants and some private funding. These reduce fine particle emissions by 20-25 percent.
According to the EPA, for every dollar spent on diesel emissions reduction there is up to $13 in health benefits.