U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5’s Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative has awarded a US$977,242 grant to Minnesota Environmental Initiative. The grant was awarded as part of EPA’s ongoing efforts in the National Clean Diesel Campaign. This project will help reduce exposure to diesel emissions from a variety of heavy-duty diesel vehicles and construction equipment.
Work conducted through this grant includes installation of more than 230 engine and exhaust retrofit technologies – such as diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters – on school buses, heavy duty trucks and construction equipment across Minnesota.
Grant projects also include the repowering of seven pieces of construction equipment – including front-end loaders and cranes – with newer, cleaner EPA-certified diesel engines. One piece of construction equipment will receive an engine upgrade that improves the environmental performance of the existing engine.
More than half of the fleets to be upgraded as a result of this grant are located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
MEI also will reduce emissions with heavy-duty and construction fleets contracted for work on the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project. The Central Corridor project is a new light rail line connecting the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. MEI estimates these actions will reduce approximately 11 tons of nitrogen oxides, 4 tons of particulate matter, 10 tons of hydrocarbons and 36 tons of carbon monoxide annually.
MEI seeks solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems through collaborative action taken by innovative partnerships. MEI brings together nonprofits, businesses and government agencies to find consensus on critical issues and respond with actions that have measurable, positive environmental outcomes. MEI’s efforts to reduce diesel pollution are implemented through its program, Project Green Fleet.
The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative is a collaboration of federal, state and local agencies, along with communities, non-profit organizations and private companies working together to reduce emissions from diesel engines in the Midwest. The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative was founded by EPA Region 5 in 2004 to reduce pollution from older diesel engines by making them run cleaner and eliminating unnecessary idling. Since then, the partnership has affected more than 985,000 engines.
Nationwide, diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot annually. This pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days. EPA’s new diesel engine standards will significantly reduce emissions from newly manufactured engines, and these grants will lower emissions from the diesel engines already in use through clean innovative technology.