The Baker-Polito Administration this week announced that it has opened a new $2.1 million competitive solicitation for projects that will reduce diesel emissions from vehicles and equipment throughout the Commonwealth.
The program, funded through the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, will help to accelerate the retirement of older, less efficient, and more polluting vehicles.
“The funding we are announcing will strengthen Massachusetts’ economy by enabling fleet operators to invest in innovative, clean technologies,” said Gov. Charles Baker. “Massachusetts is committed to taking bold action to reduce emissions and meet our ambitious climate goals, and the shift to cleaner vehicles and equipment is essential as we seek to reduce exposure of our citizens to diesel emissions, which will improve air quality and benefit public health.”
Diesel emissions can result in serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses and exacerbate global climate change, and often disproportionally impact environmental justice communities that already overburdened by environmental hazards. This open solicitation will fund the upgrade or replacement of eligible diesel vehicles such as buses, trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and non-road equipment used in sectors like construction, cargo handling, and agriculture, with lower and zero-emission technologies.
“As Massachusetts works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts that climate change will have on our communities, this funding represents an important opportunity to help us meet these ambitious goals,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “We look forward to receiving applications and working with fleet managers across the Commonwealth to upgrade their technology and adopt cleaner transportation equipment.”
Administered through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), funds are available to private, public, and non-profit entities. Eligibility is based on criteria set forth in a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency DERA Program Guide, as well as other criteria, such as proof of operation at least half the time inside Massachusetts. Applications for the program must be submitted by 5 p.m. on July 12.
MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.