DES Announces Diesel Emission Reduction Grants
Grants Funded by Federal Economic Stimulus Program
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services today announced the selection of 16 awardees to receive approximately $1.5 million in grants, pending the approval of the Governor and Executive Council, to reduce air pollution from diesel engines, promote economic recovery, and create and preserve jobs. The recipients were selected from 53 applicants who responded to DES’s March 2009 request for proposals. Funding for these grants is being provided from the Federal stimulus bill through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program.
The grants will fund 19 separate projects to reduce both diesel emissions and fuel use through the replacement of old “dirty” diesel engines and vehicles with new, less polluting technology and the installation of idle reduction equipment. Grant recipients include long-haul trucking and heavy construction firms, transit bus operators, steel fabrication and oil and propane delivery companies, a marine excursion vessel operator, a North Country School Administrative Unit, a short-haul railroad company, along with the state DOT and four municipal departments of public works.
“We are very fortunate to be able to provide these American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds released through DERA to improve air quality, create jobs, and promote economic stimulus across New Hampshire,” noted DES Commissioner Tom Burack. “Diesel exhaust contains pollutants that pose health concerns, particularly to sensitive populations. Since diesel equipment tends to stay in service for many years, these Federal stimulus funds provide New Hampshire with an unusual opportunity to reduce air pollution from sources that might not otherwise be addressed. In addition, these funds will serve to create or save an estimated 42 jobs, including 20 in the local vehicle maintenance industry.”
The Diesel Emission Reduction Act was passed by Congress in 2005. The DERA program, administered by EPA, received a supplemental appropriation of $300 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. The program granted $1.73 million to each state, including New Hampshire. DES received initial funding requests from 53 applicants for 83 potential projects totaling over $10.6 million. The 19 selected projects from 16 applicants will have a total economic stimulus value of $2.9 million ($1.4 million from applicant match) and will reduce diesel emissions by an estimated 35 tons per year.A table listing all the applicants and the selected projects is posted at http://des.nh.gov/recovery/dera_funding.htm and is also available upon request. For more information regarding the ARRA-DERA program, please contact Thomas Fargo at (603) 271-1378 or [email protected]
# # #