INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) awarded $9.8 million in first-round spending from the state’s Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust, it was announced on August 28.
First-Round Diesel Replacement Projects in Indiana
Organization Quantity Category
Greater Clark County Schools (Jeffersonville) 8 School Buses
Tri-Creek School Corporation (Lowell) 2 School Buses
Kokomo School Corporation (Kokomo) 6 School Buses
Westview School Corporation (Topeka) 2 School Buses
MM Transportation (Rockport) 4 Marine
Jack Gray Transport (Gary) 11 Drayage
Estes Express Lines (South Bend) 15 Short Haul
ADS Logistics (Chesterton) 9 Drayage
R & L Transfer (Alexandria) 12 Short Haul
The money will fund vehicle replacements in priority communities that are most in need of emission reductions across the state, officials said. Of the funds dispersed, $2.6 million is dedicated to upgrading 57 vehicles to the newest, cleanest, most advanced diesel technologies and engines.
Approximately $31.2 million of the state’s allocation remains to be spent before 2028.
IDEM announced that additional opportunities for funds through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) would be available in October 2019. The terms of the VW settlement allow states to leverage federal matching funds through the DERA program, increasing the amount of funds for specific projects.
Nationwide, DERA is one of the most effective air quality improvement programs managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Since DERA’s funding began in 2008, more than 67,000 vehicles and engines have been upgraded or replaced, delivering $19 billion in direct health benefits. This includes eliminating 427,700 tons of nitrogen oxides, 15,490 tons of particulate matter and 5.1 million tons of carbon dioxide.
“While new-generation diesel engine replacements only represent about a quarter of the state’s spending in this round, these new, diesel-powered marine engines, drayage trucks, short-haul trucks, and school buses will deliver substantial near-term emissions reductions to Indiana’s most vulnerable communities, even beyond those projected from zero-emission projects,” said Ezra Finkin, policy director for the Diesel Technology Forum. The nonprofit educational organization has been raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology for the past two decades.
Finkin commented that “With these investments in new technology diesel engines, Indiana’s Trust spending plan lives up to the mandate set forth in the settlement to use the funds for mitigating excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.”
In use since 2010, new-generation advanced technology diesel engines are equipped with the most advanced emissions control technology that is available: diesel particulate filters and selective catalytic reduction systems. These technologies capture nearly all fine particles (PM) and virtually eliminate smog-forming NOx emissions to near-zero levels.
According to the DTF, it would take 60 of today’s new-generation diesel trucks to generate the same emissions as a single truck that was manufactured in 1988.
The EPA concluded that investments in clean diesel technology are a more cost-effective strategy to immediately reduce NOx emissions from older vehicles and equipment than emerging alternatives, such as battery-electric commercial trucks.
“The lower cost of new, advanced diesel technologies allows more vehicles to be replaced for the limited funds available, meaning a greater portion of the fleet can be upgraded to near-zero emissions technologies,” continued Finkin.
About the Diesel Technology Forum
The Diesel Technology Forum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. https://www.dieselforum.org