MPCA offers grants to reduce harmful air pollution from off-road diesel equipment

Contact: Lauren Lewandowski, 612-270-9615

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is announcing approximately $1 million in grant funds available to replace or improve heavy-duty off-road diesel equipment eligible under the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).

Eligible equipment may include marine engines, locomotives, trailer refrigeration units, terminal tractors, drayage trucks, off-road engines, and equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo, agriculture, mining, or energy production.

The grants are designed to reduce emissions from older, diesel-powered off-road equipment, and are funded by Minnesota’s share of the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement and DERA. Grantees will be required to contribute matching funds for a percentage of the equipment cost. In addition, the old diesel engine, vehicle, or equipment must be destroyed and cannot be used for other purposes.

Diesel emissions contain harmful compounds and fine particles that can cause or trigger health issues, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every dollar spent on reducing diesel emissions brings $13 in health benefits. Newer models run up to 95% cleaner, but because older diesels are rugged and tend to last for decades, operators can be reluctant to replace them. MPCA’s VW grants are intended to nudge operators toward choosing new, cleaner diesel, alternative fuels, hybrid or all-electric models.

Applications are due to the MPCA no later than 4:30 p.m. CT on Dec. 1, 2021. To see the request for proposals and get details on eligibility, grant match amounts, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal, please visit the MPCA’s grants web page: Minnesota clean diesel off-road DERA grant.