The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $476,330 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to the New Mexico Environmental Department to cut emissions of diesel particulate matter.
The EPA said on Wednesday that its latest award of DERA funding will help pay to replace 16 diesel-fueled engines that operate in the Albuquerque metropolitan and greater New Mexico areas. The project will fund the purchase and installation of EPA or California Air Resources Board verified/certified technologies in accordance with DERA funding guidelines.
Replacing existing diesel engines with new, cleaner engines, will reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter and other pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide, EPA officials stressed.
“This project is an effective way to improve air quality and advance innovation across the country,” announced Regional Administrator Ken McQueen. “Through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, EPA is equipping these communities with cleaner-running school buses and diesel trucks.
DERA grants have supported about 25,000 cleaner school buses nationwide over the past decade, officials reported. According to the EPA, school buses travel over 4 billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children daily.
During fiscal year 2019, the EPA awarded over $89 million in DERA funding for state, national and tribal grants, to reduce emissions from various diesel emission sources. Those include school buses, trucks, locomotive, marine engines and other nonroad equipment.
Last week, EPA officials announced the advancement of its Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI), which was first announced last fall. CTI is an effort that aims to establish new, more stringent emission standards for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and other pollutants for highway heavy-duty engines.
EPA is inviting input from the public and interested stakeholders. EPA officials intend to publish a proposed rule early this year, they noted.
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