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Grants for clean diesel projects

Construction crane with diesel engine

Clean Diesel Grant applications due March 31

The MPCA Clean Diesel Program has about $150,000 total funding for non-road and on-highway clean diesel grant projects available to public, private and non-profit entities.

The grant offerings and technologies (repower, replacement, emission control retrofits and idle reduction) will be similar to previous years. The deadline for the completion of all projects will be September 30, 2015. Most technologies will award around 40% except replacements which remain around 25%.


Application information: The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Grant Program — 2015 is now accepting applications from private, public, and non-profit organizations to fund clean diesel projects in the state of Minnesota. Request for Proposal (RFP) and application materials can be requested by contacting with the subject line: “Clean Diesel-DERA 2015 Grant.” Applications are due by 2:30 pm DST March 31, 2015.

Questions about the program from applicants and answers to those questions will be posted on this webpage as they are received.

Q1: Our business would like to replace one of our trucks and often these new trucks are backordered. What if a grant project is paid for but delivery does not occur until after September 30?
A1: All work performed under the grant needs to be completed (replacements made, repowers completed, parts installed, etc.) by the expiration of the grant or an extension is needed. Extensions must be approved by EPA. (2/25)

Q2: I noticed the baseline form has multiple lines for several vehicles – what if I just have one diesel vehicle? Can I still apply for a grant?
A2: Yes. The lines for multiple vehicles is just to accommodate some of the applicants that might be requesting more than one grant project. (2/25)

Q3: Why are the model years for the alternative fuel category restricted to 1991-2003?
A3: An addendum has been issued via email correcting the category restrictions. Updates to the RFP are listed below. The addendum can be requested by contacting with the subject line "Clean Diesel-DERA 2015". (2/25)

  • Clean Alternative Fuel Conversions correction: The repowered vehicle must be model years 1991 through 2006. Lists of certified and compliant clean alternative fuel conversion systems, and additional guidance, can be found at


2013/14 MPCA Diesel Emission Reduction Act Awards

This past year six DERA grants were awarded for 12 diesel projects.

  • DLS — award to retrofit a diesel particulate filter (DPF)
  • Randy Eich Trucking — received a grant to retrofit a DPF
  • Pat Fruth Trucking — received a grant to retrofit six DPFs
  • Action Moving — received a grant to replace a moving truck
  • Elk River ISD 728 — received a grant to replace a snowplow
  • Highland Sanitation — received a grant to replace two waste-hauling trucks

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

MPCA Clean Diesel Grants background

  • Since 2008, Minnesota has received federal EPA funding to reduce diesel emissions on 2006 and older diesel engines.
  • The MPCA issues requests for (grant) proposals (RFPs)  typically each fall for public and private on-road and non-road including marine and rail diesel fleets.
  • Depending on the technology, grants awarded under the Clean Diesel RFPs may require a match between 50-75 percent.
  • Here’s an example of a fleet sheet that is requested as part of a grant application: MS Excel Document Fleet Information Spreadsheet - Attachment C (PDF Version) (p-f3-23)
    • We don't need all equipment details just the ones you are most likely to try to retrofit, repower, replace etc. via a grant proposal. (Just add a note on how many other pieces of equipment older than 2007 and how many newer than 2007.)

For more information

  • See below for some examples of Minnesota Clean Diesel projects.
  • See EPA Web page for more technical details
  • Contact Mark Sulzbach for fleet questions: 651-757-2770.

The MPCA has worked with four different grants to reduce diesel vehicle emissions. 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. 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.

Active grants:

Past grants:


Diesel-powered crane with retrofitted engine Five old Lunda Construction diesel cranes were repowered with new, Tier-3 engines.

Diesel engines have long been the workhorse of society because of their pulling power, superior efficiency and tremendous longevity. However, diesels contribute a disproportionate amount of harmful compounds and fine particulates that are known to cause or trigger health issues; including respiratory and cardiovascular problems and cancer.

The MPCA began working to reduce diesel emissions by retrofitting older school buses back in 2006 in partnership with Clean Air Minnesota and Project Green Fleet. The primary pollutant target has been fine particles, but depending on the technology other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, hydro carbon and carbon monoxide are also reduced. Below is additional information about grants that the MPCA has used to reduce diesel pollution. Contact: Mark Sulzbach, 651-757-2770.

Active grant projects

Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants

Airport snowplow with retrofitted diesel engine Airport snowplow with retrofitted diesel engine. A grant was awarded to the Metropolitan Airport Commission to retrofit 40 ground support vehicles including this extra-wide snowplow.

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.

DERA attachment examples

Past grants

Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grants

All eligible fire trucks in Saint Paul and Minneapolis have been retrofitted with reduced-emission exhaust systems.

All eligible fire trucks in Saint Paul and Minneapolis have been retrofitted with reduced-emission exhaust systems.

The federal CMAQ grant is 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.

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 severa; suburbs such as Roseville, Eagan, Maplewood, Bloomington and South St. Paul.

Clean Diesel Recovery Act grant

Cliff Johnson, Monticello, was the first Clean Diesel Recovery Act Grant recipient in Minnesota. Cliff received funding for a much cleaner exhaust system on his trailer refrigeration unit.

Cliff Johnson, Monticello, was the first Clean Diesel Recovery Act Grant recipient in Minnesota. Cliff received funding for a much cleaner exhaust system on his trailer refrigeration unit.

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.

Minnesota state school bus grants

School BusIn 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.

More information is available about the school bus retrofit idle reduction effort and Project Green Fleet.

Read about other grants and loans: Financial assistance: Grants and loans

Last modified on March 10, 2015 16:24

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