MPCA Offering Grants to Upgrade Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) invites owners of 2006 and older heavy-duty diesel engines to apply for grants to upgrade or replace their engines in order to reduce diesel emissions. MPCA has $150,000 in federal grant funding for: installing pollution controls and idle reduction devices, or for replacing; engines, vehicles, or equipment.

Diesel engines help power our economy, but older diesel engines are notorious for creating air pollution. Vehicles are responsible for about 30 percent of the air pollution in Minnesota. Older diesel engines create a higher proportion of fine particulate and nitrogen oxide pollution than gasoline engines. Both fine particle pollution and ozone (created, in part, by nitrogen oxide) can trigger respiratory and heart problems.

The EPA estimates that every dollar spent on diesel emission reduction, it nets $13 in health benefits. Over the last seven years the MPCA’s clean diesel grant efforts have helped to directly fund emission-reducing improvements on 2,746 diesel engines in Minnesota including nearly 1,900 school buses.

In Minnesota, the use of clean, renewable biodiesel blends is equal to taking more than 128,000 vehicles off the road. Minnesota requires B10, or 10 percent biodiesel, be sold in all pumps April 1 through Sept. 31 each year—B5 is available from Oct. 1 through March 31.

In recent years, the MPCA has awarded grants to replace heavy duty engines on construction equipment, garbage trucks, delivery trucks, and retrofitted several long-haul trucks with diesel particulate filters.

“These grants usually provide around 40-50 percent of the cost, except vehicle replacement projects, which would be funded up to 25-percent,” said MPCA Clean Diesel Grants Manager, Mark Sulzbach.  “New diesel engine emissions are 90 percent cleaner than pre-2007 engines. The problem is old diesels last forever. Clean diesel grants contribute directly to improving public health including the engine operator’s health, while helping the owner’s bottom line through improved performance and or efficiency.”

Owners of older heavy duty diesel engines are encouraged to take the opportunity to improve their fleet through a variety of EPA approved technologies including:

  • Idle Reduction
  • Pollution Controls
  • Engine Replacements
  • New Vehicle /Equipment Replacements

Vehicles and equipment generally must be 2006 and older and trucks must be class 6 (19,500 lbs.) or larger to qualify. Vehicles and equipment must also be fully operational and not backup equipment.

Application information: The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Grant Program – 2015 is now accepting applications from private, public, and non-profit organizations to fund clean diesel projects in the state of Minnesota.  Request for Proposal (RFP) and application materials can be requested by contacting contracts.pca@.state.mn.us with the subject line: “Clean Diesel-DERA 2015 Grant.”  Applications are due by 2:30 pm DST March 31, 2015. Please visit www.pca.state.mn.us/cleandiesel for more information including applicant questions and answers.”