EPA Awards Stimulus Funds to Lower Diesel Emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $900,000 to Cascade Sierra Solutions for a trailer aerodynamics project. This clean diesel project will create jobs while protecting Washington, Oregon and Idaho's air quality, according to a July 29 press release.

The funds are provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Under this funding competition, EPA Region 10 received 49 grant applications requesting over $80 million.

The grant funds will be used to purchase and install 1,554 advanced trailer skirts, 54 advanced trailer end fairings and 54 trailer gap reducers on Class 8B Long Haul trucks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. The trailer skirts have been proven to improve fuel efficiency by 7.4 percent, the trailer end fairings by 5.1 percent and the trailer gap reducers by 2 percent. The project will reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter by over four tons and carbon dioxide emissions by over 60,000 tons over the lifetime of the trailer retrofits. The project will also help create or sustain an estimated 50 manufacturing and local installation jobs, and will also help truckers reduce operating costs and stay competitive. The project will save truckers an estimated $3.5 million in fuel costs annually.

An additional $1.84 million in funding will come from partners. The project is led by Cascade Sierra Solutions in partnership with private trucking fleet owners and operators Gordon Trucking and J.B. Hunt.

The Recovery Act allotted the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) $300 million, of which the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program received $156 million to fund competitive grants across the nation. The Recovery Act also included $20 million for the National Clean Diesel Emerging Technology Program grants and $30 million for the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program grants. In related news, EPA awarded $2.8 million in grants to the Denver Regional Air Quality Council, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the City and County of Denver to install clean diesel technologies on hundreds of trucks, buses and vehicles throughout the state.

"These Recovery Act projects significantly advance efforts to secure clean-diesel technologies for our nation's school buses, construction and farm equipment, long-haul trucks and other diesel vehicles," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Carol Rushin. The funds are provided under the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. EPA Region 8 received more than 35 grant applications requesting more than $56 million.

Grant award recipients in Colorado include:

  • Denver Regional Air Quality Council: $1,250,000

    This project will partner with owners and operators of over-the-road truck fleets, the oil and gas industry and one school district to install 100 auxiliary power units, 20 diesel oxidation catalysts, 56 fuel-operated heaters for anti-idling and in-cab heaters, 44 thermal coolers, 10 full sets of SmartWay low-rolling resistance tires and 20 SmartWay trailer gap fairings on vehicles throughout the state. The primary goal of these efforts is to reduce exposure to toxic emissions from diesel exhaust and to conserve diesel fuel.

  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, $850,000

    This project will provide emissions control solutions for over-the-road diesel trucks. The funding will be used to partially pay for 180 auxiliary power units or battery air conditioning systems for long-haul trucks, with individual truck owners providing the remaining cost shares. This project will provide air quality benefits throughout Colorado and will provide significant fuel savings.

  • City and County of Denver: $700,000

    This project will retrofit 48 refuse vehicles with fuel-operated hydraulic and cab heaters, retrofit 9 snow plows with fuel operated cab heaters, retrofit 53 heavy duty diesel vehicles with diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase filtration devices and utilize biodiesel fuel. This funding will pay for the full cost of retrofits and the incremental cost of biodiesel fuel. The primary goal of the project is to reduce exposure to toxic emissions from diesel exhaust.

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