MPCA opens grant for heavy-duty diesel upgrades; deadline 3/31/15

Contact: Pam McCurdy, 651-757-2559

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency invites owners of 2006 and older heavy-duty diesel engines to apply for grants to upgrade or replace their engines in order to reduce diesel emissions. The MPCA has $150,000 in federal grant funding for installing pollution controls and idle reduction devices, or for replacing engines, vehicles or equipment.

Diesel engines help power our economy, but older diesel engines are notorious for creating air pollution. Vehicles are responsible for about 30 percent of the air pollution in Minnesota. Older diesel engines create a higher proportion of fine particulate and nitrogen oxide pollution than gasoline engines. Both fine particle pollution and ozone (created, in part, by nitrogen oxide) can trigger respiratory and heart problems.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that every dollar spent on diesel emission reduction nets $13 in health benefits. During the last seven years the MPCA’s clean diesel grant efforts have helped to directly fund emission-reducing improvements on 2,746 diesel engines in Minnesota including nearly 1,900 school buses.

In recent years, the MPCA has awarded grants to replace heavy duty engines on construction equipment, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, and retrofitted several long-haul trucks with diesel particulate filters.

“These grants usually provide around 40-50 percent of the cost, except vehicle replacement projects which would be funded up to 25 percent,” said MPCA clean diesel grants manager Mark Sulzbach. “New diesel engine emissions are 90 percent cleaner than pre-2007 engines. The problem is, old diesels last forever. Clean diesel grants contribute directly to improving public health, including the engine operator’s health, while helping the owner’s bottom line through improved performance and efficiency.”

Owners of older heavy duty diesel engines are encouraged to take the opportunity to improve their fleet through a variety of EPA-approved technologies, including idle reduction, pollution controls, engine replacements, and new vehicle or equipment replacements

Vehicles and equipment generally must be 2006 and older, and trucks must be class 6 (19,500 lbs.) or larger to qualify. Vehicles and equipment must also be fully operational and not backup equipment.

For more information or to request application materials, contact contracts.pca@state.mn.us with the subject line: “Clean Diesel-DERA 2015 Grant.” Applications are due by 2:30 pm DST March 31, 2015. Please visit www.pca.state.mn.us/cleandiesel for more information including applicant questions and answers.