This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced over $14 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants awarded to projects that reduce diesel emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older, dirtier engines and vehicles. Of this, over $8 million was awarded to projects in California.
“The DERA grant program helps states like California target funds towards projects that align with local priorities,” said Martha Guzman, Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest. “This funding will help replace over 70 older diesel-powered tractors with new, cleaner equipment across the San Joaquin Valley, and in general support the move to zero emission electric equipment throughout California. Reducing diesel use is a central strategy to environmental justice.”
In selecting projects for award, priority was given to projects that:
• are in areas designated as having poor air quality;
• reduce emissions from ports and other goods movement facilities;
• benefit local communities;
• incorporate local communities in project planning; and
• demonstrate an ability to continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.
This year’s grants to California will fund the following projects:
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) received $2,789,518 to replace 73 older diesel-powered agricultural tractors with new, cleaner equipment. The funds will be combined with $7,845,519 in leveraged funds from participating partners. SJVAPCD will also replace 33 trucks made prior to 2016 with new vehicles that emit less nitrogen oxide, or “NOx,” pollution. The funds will be combined with $4,886,226 in leveraged funds from participating partners. These projects will be implemented through a partnership between SJVAPCD and participating fleets.
South Coast Air Quality Management District received $2,349,995 to replace 14 diesel yard hostlers with all-electric hostlers at four distribution centers and replace 5 diesel Intermodal Box Connector carts with all-electric carts at the Long Beach Container Terminal. These projects will be implemented through a partnership between SCAQMD, Albertsons, McLane, and Port of Long Beach. The funds will be combined with $2,719,900 in leveraged funds from participating partners.
Cajon Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) received $304,500 to replace five old diesel trucks, with three battery electric trucks. These projects will be implemented through a partnership between CVUSD, a California school district serving El Cajon and Rancho San Diego, First Priority Group, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Nuvve. The funds will be combined with $542,659 in cost-share funds from CVUSD including $119,211 in voluntary cost-share funds.
City of Los Angeles, Harbor Department received $2,025,000 to replace an old switcher locomotive with a battery electric locomotive that will operate at railyards in the South Coast Air Basin. These projects will be implemented through a partnership between Los Angeles Harbor Department and Union Pacific. The funds will be combined with $2,475,000 in leveraged funds from participating partners.
California Air Resources Board (CARB) received $627,035 to replace 10 school buses with all-electric and internal combustion engine alternatives throughout California. These projects will be implemented through a partnership between CARB, the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District, and participating fleets. The funds will be combined with $442,008 in matching funds from CARB, and $1,633,500 in leveraged funds from public and private partners.
In addition to DERA funding, following the passage of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA will be making significant investments in the health, equity, and resilience of American communities. EPA will offer a total of $5 billion between fiscal years 2022 and 2026 to fund the replacement of dirtier school buses with low- or no-carbon school buses. Each year, $500 million will be available exclusively for electric school buses and $500 million will be available for electric buses and multiple types of cleaner alternative fuel school buses. In line with the President’s commitment to Justice40, EPA is actively working to ensure DERA funding, including Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding, maximizes the benefits that are directed to underserved communities.
The DERA Program funds grants and rebates that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines. Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded over $1 billion in grants and rebates to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet and speed the turnover to cleaner on- and off-road heavy-duty trucks and equipment.
For details on additional nation-wide recipients, funding amounts, and projects, visit https://www.epa.gov/dera.
More information on DERA state grants: https://www.epa.gov/dera/state-allocations.
For more information on the EPA West Coast Collaborative and DERA grant projects, visit https://westcoastcollaborative.org.