Utah project among $77 million for diesel emissions reduction projects

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LINDON, UT – JANUARY 31: Cars and trucks make their way down I-15 through Utah valley filled with thick smog caused by a temperature inversion on January 31, 2017 in Lindon, Utah. Severe inversions have plagued Utah’s large cities for many years.(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

(ABC4) – More than $77 million in grants for projects led by the University of Colorado Boulder and the Utah Department of Environmental Quality will be dispersed across the nation, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality was selected to receive an award of $2.3 million. The money will be allocated to replace 18 old diesel refuse haulers and 23 short-haul delivery trucks with cleaner, current model year vehicles, the EPA says.

The targeted vehicles will operate in the Northern and Southern Wasatch Front 2015 ozone standard nonattainment area which includes Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, and Weber counties.

A press release says $53 million was awarded through the 2021 Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) National Grant Program and an additional $24 million was awarded to states through the State DERA grant program.

“Cleaner trucks, buses, boats, and heavy equipment keep local economies thriving while better protecting the health of the people living and working near ports, schools, and along delivery routes,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Combined with $5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law going to electric and alternative fuel school buses over the coming months and years, EPA is leading an unprecedented investment in cleaner air for communities across the country.”

The EPA awarded 55 national DERA grants covering a wide range of projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions including upgrades to school buses, port equipment, and construction equipment. 19 of the awards will support replacing older diesel equipment with zero-emission technologies such as transportation refrigeration units, terminal tractors, drayage trucks, refuse trucks, a locomotive, and a port ship-to-shore gantry cane.

All 55 projects will reduce diesel pollution and benefit local communities, many of which are facing environmental justice concerns.

In addition to DERA, with the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the 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.

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