This year’s awarded projects will replace 10 diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives.

This year’s awarded projects will replace 10 diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives. 

Photo: Engin Akyurt

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has awarded $1.369 million in grants for projects that will reduce air pollution from diesel-powered mobile sources, according to the department

Mobile sources are any type of vehicle that can pollute the air, including automobiles, trucks, buses, locomotives, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, construction equipment and lawnmowers. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) awards Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grants every year for projects to replace, retrofit or repair diesel vehicles and reduce emissions.

This year’s awarded projects will replace 10 diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives. Most of the funding, more than $909,000, will go toward new electric vehicles. Electrification projects, projects in historically under-resourced counties, and projects submitted by minority-owned or women-owned businesses received bonus points during the scoring of applications.

According to DEQ, this year’s awards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,656 tons over their lifetimes as well as eliminate more than 40 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 2 tons of particulate matter.

Applications for the 2022 Mobile Source Emissions Reduction grants opened last September and closed in November. Among those awarded grants was the Town of Chapel Hill for a project to replace one diesel refuse truck with a new electric refuse truck and funds associated infrastructure. 

The Hyde County received grant money to replace one diesel waste-water pump with an electric stationary pump and funds associated infrastructure. Cumberland County Solid Waste received $183,950 to replace one diesel excavator and one diesel grader with new, cleaner equipment. 

Waste Management of Carolinas received $90,000 to replace three diesel refuse trucks with three low-NOx compressed natural gas (CNG) refuse trucks.

The grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. Awards from the 2021 Diesel Emission Reduction grant program funded the replacement of 11 vehicles, reducing estimated emissions of NOx by 23.5 tons over their lifetimes.

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