DEEP Announces up to $767,000 in Federal Grant Funds Available for Clean Vehicle Projects
Funding Covers up to 60% of Cost of Replacement with Electric Engines, Applications Accepted Now Through Nov. 18
Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced the availability of up to $767,000 in federal funds for grants to local and state governments, as well as businesses and organizations, who want to replace large, older diesel engines with electric vehicle equivalents or newer, cleaner-burning engines.
The funding, which is provided under the federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), covers up to 60% of the cost of new technology to replace older diesel engines. The use of new technologies can reduce air pollution as much as 80% in addition to saving money in operating costs by decreasing fuel consumption.
Grant applications will be accepted beginning October 14, 2020 and are due November 18, 2020.
DEEP is administering the DERA grants for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s State Clean Diesel Program, designed to support green technologies while reducing air pollution and addressing the public health and environmental concerns posed by diesel emissions in Connecticut.
Since 2008, $5.3 million in DERA funding has been allocated to Connecticut for projects reducing over 4,300 tons of diesel emissions.
“Diesel-related air pollution continues to impact public health in Connecticut, especially in low to moderate income communities across the state that have borne a historic and disproportionate impact from diesel-related air pollution,” DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “DERA is another tool we use to reduce air pollution and this grant funding is a great opportunity to support further electrification of the heavy-duty vehicle sector.”
Why Diesel Air Pollution is a Problem
Air pollution from diesel engines presents real public health concerns for Connecticut. Our communities, especially those in urban areas near transportation hubs and highways, suffer from exposure to sooty exhaust emitted by trucks, buses and other diesel engines. These emissions can make breathing difficult, particularly for children, the elderly, and other sensitive groups. Reducing diesel emissions continues to be a top priority for DEEP because:
- A recent national report, Asthma Capitals 2019, ranked New Haven (#11) and Hartford (#13) among the 100 largest U.S. cities where it is most challenging to live with asthma;
- Diesel exhaust has been classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. EPA;
- Diesel engines are a significant contributor to air pollution, emitting high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which exacerbates asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and similar respiratory conditions; and
- Emissions from diesel powered electricity generators used to meet peak energy demand usually occur on high ozone days, amplifying the negative health impacts of ozone.
How to Apply for Funding
DEEP is currently seeking proposals from municipalities, agencies, businesses, and organizations for environmental projects that cost-effectively reduce diesel emissions. All program limitations and requirements, forms and instructions are available on DEEP’s Diesel Grants and Funding webpage.