The Environmental Protection Agency provides funding for low and zero-emission transportation through its Clean School Bus USA program. The goal of Clean School Bus USA is to reduce both children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses. In addition, in January 2006 the EPA announced the availability of $3 million in grant monies for projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions on the West Coast. The grant program is part of the highly successful West Coast Collaborative which has awarded more than $2.6 million in grants for 28 projects since 2004. In 2006, the EPA expects to award up to 12 grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.
The EPA is seeking grant proposals for projects benefiting the West Coast that demonstrate new, innovative or experimental approaches to reducing diesel emissions. Past grant projects have included electrifying truck stops and cruise ship terminals, converting restaurant waste oil to biodiesel fuel and establishing a revolving loan fund to reduce locomotive emissions.
In 2005, under the National Clean Diesel Campaign, Smartway and the West Coast Collaborative, EPA awarded more than $2.2 million on the West Coast. Of this nearly $800,000 went to projects in California and Hawaii. California received $650,000 for eight projects that will reduce diesel emissions by installing emission control devices on construction equipment; measuring the effectiveness of cleaner biodiesel in agricultural equipment; retrofitting an existing short line locomotive to operate primarily on liquefied natural gas (LNG); utilizing conventional stationary source emission control equipment to treat emissions from area mobile sources; installing idle reduction technology on an I-5 corridor trucking fleet; providing docked cruise liners with incentives for cleaner fuels while at port; retrofitting port equipment with LNG engines; and testing the efficiency of diesel agricultural pumps. Hawaii received $135,000 for replacement of older, dirty diesel construction equipment engines with newer, cleaner engines to reduce air pollution on O'ahu and Kaua'i.
Information on current EPA grant funding opportunities can be accessed on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ogd/competition/open_awards.htm.
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