High-emitting vehicle repair grant

Vehicle tail pipe for exhaustMPCA 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 has awarded the grant to Environmental Initiative. Through Project Clean Air Repair (Project CAR), they are partnering with two local nonprofit garages to fix vehicle exhaust systems for lower-income residents in densely populated, low-income population areas where a higher proportion of these high emitting, older vehicles are expected to exist.

The non-profit garages are providing repairs for catalytic converters, evaporative emission control system (EVAP), and oxygen sensors. They plan to repair roughly 75 vehicles over the course of this two-year project.

This will not only reduce emissions but also help promote environmental justice in low income neighborhoods by reducing ground-level exposure to vehicle pollution. Negative health impacts due to air pollution impact those in disadvantaged communities the most, this project aims to directly reduce that impact.

Background

The Twin Cities and other regions of the state are close to falling out of compliance with federal air quality standards for ozone ("nonattainment"). To maintain compliance, a series of early actions is needed.

Ozone is created by a variety of sources throughout Minnesota. One of the primary contributors is mobile sources: cars and trucks operating on the streets and highways of Minnesota. National studies indicate that just 10 percent of cars and light trucks create nearly 50 percent of the overall vehicle pollution.

This project is aimed at cleaning up these high-emitting vehicles. MPCA is seeking a contractor(s) that will partner with auto repair shops, dealerships, tech colleges or other entities to identify and fix vehicles with faulty emissions systems. This program is intended to offer free emission repairs (up to a certain dollar amount) on older vehicles in densely populated, low-income population areas where a higher proportion of these high emitting, older vehicles are expected to exist. This will not only reduce emissions but also help promote environmental justice in low income neighborhoods by reducing ground-level exposure to vehicle pollution.