LENEXA, KANSAS (November 22, 2021) — The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced November 18 that the Iowa American Lung Association was awarded a $422,155 grant to reduce emissions from five diesel engines in two fleets operating in 24 Iowa and Missouri counties.

Specifically, the project includes the purchase of one engine for a non-road construction vehicle; two port-vessel engines for Sunflower Boat and Barge; and a two-engine, marine port-vessel for Dubuque Barge and Fleeting Service. Both companies operate from Dubuque, Iowa.

This grant award was part of over $77 million awarded to projects that reduce diesel emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older, dirtier engines and vehicles. $53 million was awarded through the 2021 DERA National Grants program, and an additional $24 million was awarded to states through the DERA State Grants program. The DERA program funds grants and rebates that protect human health and improve air-quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines.

“Cleaner trucks, buses, boats, and heavy equipment keep local economies thriving while better protecting the health of the people living and working near ports, schools, and along delivery routes,” said EPA Administrator Michael S Regan. “Combined with $5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law going to electric- and alternative-fuel school-buses over the coming months and years, EPA is leading an unprecedented investment in cleaner air for communities across the country.”

“Emissions reductions in ports along the Mississippi River are important goals for EPA,” said Acting EPA Region 7 Administrator Edward H Chu. “Diesel emissions reduction projects continue to play an integral role in our overall air quality programs in the region.”

EPA awarded 55 DERA National Grants covering a wide range of projects to reduce diesel emissions, including upgrades to school buses, port equipment, and construction equipment.

Nineteen of these awards will support replacing older diesel equipment with zero-emission technologies, such as transportation refrigeration units, terminal tractors, drayage trucks, refuse trucks, a locomotive, and a port ship-to-shore gantry crane. All 55 projects will reduce diesel pollution and benefit local communities, many of which are facing environmental justice concerns.

In selecting projects for awards, priority was given to projects that:

  • Are in areas designated as having poor air-quality;
  • Reduce emissions from ports and other goods movement facilities;
  • Benefit local communities;
  • Incorporate local communities in project planning; and
  • Demonstrate an ability to continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.

EPA also awarded $24 million under its 2021 DERA State Grants program to 49 states and three territories to implement their own diesel emissions-reduction programs locally. This program allows states to target funds toward the diesel emissions-reduction projects that best align with local priorities. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources was awarded $514,373 to operate their state program and the Missouri Department of Natural Resource was awarded $524,064 to operate a diesel emissions reduction program in the state.

In addition to DERA, following the passage of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), EPA will be making significant investments in the health, equity, and resilience of American communities. EPA will offer a total of $5 billion between fiscal years 2022 and 2026 to fund the replacement of dirtier school-buses with low- or no-carbon school-buses. Each year, $500 million will be available exclusively for electric school-buses and $500 million will be available for electric-buses and multiple types of cleaner, alternative-fuel school-buses. In line with the president’s commitment to Justice40, EPA is actively working to ensure DERA funding, including BIL funding, maximizes the benefits that are directed to underserved communities.

For more information on DERA National Grants, visit: www.epa.gov/dera/national-dera-awarded-grants.

For more information on DERA State Grants, visit: www.epa.gov/dera/state-allocations.

For information on the Clean School Bus Plan under the BIL, visit: www.epa.gov/transportation-air-pollution-and-climate-change/clean-school-bus-plan.

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