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US EPA awards US$9.6 million in grants to reduce harmful diesel emissions in California

The EPA grants will help California buy a number of EVs

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded US$9.6 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants to public and private partners in California. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator, Mike Stoker, made the announcement at an event with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District in Fresno, California.

The funds will be used to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, heavy-duty trucks, tractors and port equipment.

“EPA is committed to improving air quality and advancing cleaner technologies to improve the quality of life for residents throughout California,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Through these DERA grants, along with our public and private project partners, we continue our progress toward healthier communities.”

The DERA programme is administered by the EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a partnership comprised of EPA’s Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regions, which leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources.

The 2018 DERA grants awarded to California will fund a number of electric vehicle projects.

California Air Resources Board (CARB) received US$435,149 to replace five heavy-duty school buses with all-electric alternatives throughout California. The funds will be combined with US$379,516 in matching funds from CARB, and US$1.28 million in cost-shared funds from participating fleets.

Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD) in San Diego received US$1 million to replace five school buses with zero emission battery-electric buses. The funds will be combined with US$267,911 in cost-shared funds from CVUSD, and US$1.1 million from CARB.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) received US$674,865 to replace three diesel-powered shuttle buses with zero-emission, battery-electric buses. The funds will be combined with US$824,835 in cost-shared funds from United Airlines.

Overall, these projects will bring 248 cleaner diesel or electric engines to economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart, and lung disease. In total, these projects will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by almost 1,000 tonnes and fine particulate matter by 82 tonnes over the lifetime of the engines.

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