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

Contact: Ralph Pribble, 651-757-2657

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today announced that $1.1 million in grant funds is 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 funds will help reduce emissions from older, diesel-powered off-road equipment, and come from Minnesota’s share of the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement and DERA. Grantees will be required to provide a cash match for a percentage of the equipment cost, and the old diesel engine, vehicle, or equipment must be destroyed.

Diesel emissions contain harmful compounds and fine particles that can cause or trigger health issues, and the U.S. EPA 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 on Sept. 18, 2020. To see the request for proposals and get details on eligibility, grant match amounts, and other information that will help applicants submit a proposal, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/air/minnesota-clean-diesel-off-road-dera-grant.