The EPA says in a report to Congress that the Clean Diesel Program is working as planned. The program, funded at $50 million last year, allowed EPA to fund the purchase or retrofitting of 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles and pieces of equipment, reducing the potential for respiratory illnesses and saving money in communities nationwide.
The resulting benefits from the program include:
- reducing 46,000 tons of nitrogen oxide, a key contributor to elevated smog levels, and 2,200 tons of particulate matter over the lifetime of diesel vehicles
- conserving 3.2.million gallons of fuel annually under the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program, which saves operators $8 million annually
- generating public health benefits between $500 million to $1.4 billion
EPA is currently implementing stringent regulatory standards for new diesel engines. Because diesel engines remain in use for decades, it is also important to address the existing fleet. Under the diesel emissions reduction program, which comprises both national grant competitions and direct state allocations, EPA provides support for retrofits, repairs, replacements, idle reduction, cleaner fuels, innovative financing for clean technologies under the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program, and other strategies.
There are a number of components of the Clean Diesel Program:
National Clean Diesel Program (70% of funding)
- National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program contains the majority of the funding dedicated to deployment of EPA-verified and certified technologies. This component will be administered by EPA”s regional offices.
- National Clean Diesel Emerging Technologies Program fosters the deployment of innovative technologies through a national grant competition. To qualify as an emerging technology, a manufacturer must have an EPA approved application and test plan for verification.
- SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program allows EPA to issue competitive grants to establish national low-cost revolving loans or other financing programs that will provide funding to fleets to reduce diesel emissions.
State Clean Diesel Grant Program (30% of funding)
- State Clean Diesel Grant Program makes funds directly available to States interested in establishing new diesel emission reduction programs.
Visit the EPA for more information.
Article by Roger Greenway, appearing courtesy of ENN
[photo credit: Leo-setä]