Manchester, N.H., Authority to Retrofit Municipal Vehicles

Through the 2008 Northeast Diesel Collaborative Emissions Reduction Grant Program, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $229,703 to the Manchester Transit Authority to install a combination of advanced pollution control and idle reduction technologies on 89 municipal vehicles. In addition, funds will be used to cover the incremental cost of biodiesel fuel for the entire fleet of city vehicles.

The grant will allow the authority to install diesel oxidation catalysts on 72 city-owned vehicles, from the highway, water and parks, and recreation departments, reducing particulate matter emissions by approximately 20 percent. In addition, MTA will fund the retrofit of seven transit-style school buses with closed crankcase ventilation systems, reducing in-cabin emissions associated with the engine's crankcase. They will also install idle reduction devices on an additional 10 school buses. Finally, the grant will cover the incremental cost of a 20 percent blend of biodiesel (B20) fuel for the entire fleet of city vehicles.

"This grant will not only fund the purchase of emissions reduction technology but also includes a robust public awareness campaign that partners with local public schools to educate both students and parents about the importance of reducing idling in their personal vehicles," said Mike Whitten, Operations Planning manager, Manchester Transit Authority. "In order to achieve long-term air quality improvements, it is essential that we change both the technology we use and our own mind sets with regard to emissions."