The MPCA solicited applications from contractors to partner with auto repair shops, dealerships, tech colleges or other entities to identify and fix high-emitting vehicles.
The MPCA selected Environmental Initiative (EI) as the grant recipient; work on this project will begin June 1, 2021. EI will facilitate emissions systems repairs with participating garages to reduce release of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in to the atmosphere. This work is focused on helping alleviate air pollution issues in areas of concern for environmental justice.
The Twin Cities and various areas in Minnesota have consistently been very close to federal ambient air quality standards for ozone, meaning that there is a continued risk of exceedance throughout the state. Strong actions to further lower ambient ozone concentrations are needed to both protect human health and avoid an exceedance of the federal ozone standards. A series of early actions are needed and will be initiated to help maintain compliance. Ozone is created by a variety of sources throughout Minnesota. One of the primary sources is mobile sources; all of the cars and trucks operating on the streets and highways of Minnesota. National studies indicate that approximately 10% of cars and light trucks create nearly half of the overall vehicle pollution; these are considered high-emitting vehicles, which this project is aimed at cleaning up.
The MPCA is seeking a contractor that will lead the effort and partner with auto repair shops, dealerships, tech colleges or other entities to identify and fix these high-emitting vehicles that have faulty emissions systems. This program is intended to offer free emission repairs (up to a certain dollar amount) on older vehicles in areas of concern for Environmental Justice where a higher proportion of these high-emitting, older vehicles are expected to exist. The goal is to reduce emissions and ground-level exposure to vehicle pollution in these areas. The intent of this RFP is to award funding to one applicant (single organization or team). Multiple organizations may work together, but one organization will need to submit as the lead applicant.