The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recently announced recipients of nearly $7.5 million in funding for projects designed to reduce diesel emissions across the state and among vulnerable populations. Under the Diesel Emissions Mitigation Grant Program, eight selected projects will help eliminate air contaminants affecting public health and climate by retrofitting or replacing older medium- and heavy-duty diesel equipment with new, cleaner alternatives.
The selected projects will remove more than 38 tons of harmful air pollution, including nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter, from Oregon’s air. Projects range from retiring an old diesel transit trolley and purchasing a new, all-electric one in Wilsonville to replacing two diesel refuse trucks with one all-electric and one compressed natural gas hauler in Athena, to installing diesel particulate filters and replacing medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks with zero-emission transportation in the Portland Metro area and across the state.
“In its second year, the Diesel Emissions Mitigation Grant Program continues to encourage businesses and government organizations to commit to cleaner air,” said DEQ Air Quality Division Administrator Ali Mirzakhalili. “DEQ offers many programs in addition to this grant to support the reduction of transportation-related emissions. The goal is to help transition light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to zero emissions throughout Oregon.”
2022 recipients, primary locations, proposed projects and awards are as follows:
- All Service Moving (Portland): Replace 10 older, medium- and heavy-duty diesel trucks with 10 all-electric trucks and add charging stations. Grant amount: $1,553,850
- City of Newberg (Newberg): Replace two diesel trucks with one, all-electric truck. Grant amount: $682,500
- City of Portland (Portland): Replace five diesel, materials and equipment trucks with five that are all-electric. Grant amount: $850,000
- Humbert Refuse (Athena): Replae two diesel refuse trucks with one all-electric hauler and one compressed natural gas hauler. Grant amount: $718,501
- Iron Oxen (Portland): Replace a combination of five diesel drayage trucks with five all-electric drayage trucks. Grant amount: $2,041.063
- MTRWestern (Portland): Replace two diesel MCI J4500 motor coaches, powered by Model Year 2006 engines, with two all-electric motor coaches. Grant amount: $1,194,936
- R.A. Anderson Group, LLC (Estacada): Retrofit one dump truck, currently with a Model Year 2001 diesel engine, with a diesel particulate filter meeting Clean Air Construction Standard requirements. Grant amount: $28,364
- South Metro Area Regional Transit/City of Wilsonville (Wilsonville): Replace a 21-year-old diesel transit trolley with an ADA-accessible, all-electric trolley. Grant amount: $412.500
2022 Grant Amount Total: $7,481,714
DEQ’s Air Quality Program staff reviewed 61 grant applications, totaling $42 million in requested funds. Using a point system, they applied specific criteria from the Oregon Legislature and related administrative rules to evaluate proposed projects.
Project location criterion included a GIS evaluation against a vulnerable population map. The review considered how a proposed project would improve air quality in areas with the highest diesel emissions, most vulnerable populations and highest population densities.
DEQ has approximately $40 million from the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund established after Volkswagen was found to have cheated on emissions standards. The agency will award approximately $8 million in grants per year for five consecutive calendar years, beginning in 2021 and ending in 2025. In response to inflation and cost increases for vehicles and equipment, DEQ may choose to increase individual award amounts as needed to ensure Oregon receives the maximum air quality benefits from these projects.
Special thanks go to DEQ’s Gerik Kransky, Angela Parker, Brian Latta, Rhett Lawrence and Michael Orman for their hard work answering questions, evaluating applications and arranging the awards.
By Susan C. Mills, public affairs specialist, Oregon DEQ