In January the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is offering $3 million in grant money for projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions on the West Coast. The funds will be allocated to those that “demonstrate new, innovative, or experimental applications, technologies, methods, or approaches” to this problem.
To be eligible for funding, a project must fall into at least one of six categories: trucking, marine vessels and ports, construction and distributed generation, locomotives and rail, agriculture, or cleaner fuels. According to the EPA, projects may include a variety of emissions reductions solutions such as add-on technology, engine replacement, idle reduction technologies or strategies, or cleaner fuel use. Cleaner fuel use includes biodiesel, bio-methane from animal waste, ethanol, electricity, liquefied and compressed natural gas, hydrogen, and low or ultra-low sulfur diesel.
In 2005, the EPA awarded more than $2.2 mil to West Coast states for diesel emissions reduction projects. Previous projects have included electrifying truck stops and cruise ship terminals, converting restaurant waste oil to biodiesel, and establishing a revolving loan fund to reduce locomotive emissions.
The grant program is a part of the West Coast Collaborative, a group of federal, local, and state governments; the private sector; and environmental groups from Alaska, Arizona, California, Canada, Idaho, Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The Collaborative is part of the EPA’s National Diesel Campaign.
Proposals are due March 23 and will be accepted from states, Washington, D.C., territories, federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions. The EPA expects to award up to twelve grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 in 2006.