- File photo

File photo

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation of Kansas a grant of nearly $490,000 to establish lower-emission diesel projects to upgrade its municipal fleet. The Tribal Nation plans to replace two inefficient larger engine vehicles; a municipal short-haul dump truck; and a fire department water tanker, according to a press release.

Nationally, 12 tribal and insular area assistance agreements are expected to be awarded totaling $5.4 million in grant funding as part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction (DERA) program, which funds projects to clean up diesel engines. Older diesel engines emit more air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, than newer diesel engines, according to the EPA.

The DERA program is prioritizing projects that help achieve the goals for the Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure that federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.

“The Biden administration continues to work with tribal nations across the country to replace or upgrade older, higher-polluting diesel engines, making important progress in reducing pollution and advancing environmental justice across the country,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

The projects include replacing municipal trucks, marine engines used in fishing vessels, generators used for energy production in tribal villages; and adding electric school buses.

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