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National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC)

Working Together for Cleaner Air

DERA Projects Highlights

Project Highlights

Since 2008, nearly 60,000 pieces of clean diesel technology have been funded by DERA grants. Below are highlights from a sampling of the DERA projects. For information about all DERA projects, visit National Funding Assistance Projects, Emerging Technologies Projects, and SmartWay Finance Projects.

The following is a sampling of some of the project highlights.


Southeast Pennsylvania Benefits from Cleaner Rail Transportation

Grant Recipient: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)

Project Locations: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties

Award Amount and Year: $1.2 million (DERA 2011)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Replace Tier 0 engine and two generators on an older diesel locomotive with Tier 3 engine and a diesel particulate filter (DPF).

The Story:

On December 8, 2011, EPA’s Region 3 announced the award of a $1.2 million Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). This grant gives one of SEPTA’s switcher locomotive from the 1950s a new lease on life with a state-of-the-art emissions-reducing engine technology. The switcher locomotive’s Tier 0 engine and two generators will be replaced with a Tier 3 engine and a diesel particulate filter.

The project represents a milestone in SEPTA’s efforts to reduce criteria air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions through its Sustainability Program. SEPTA already boasts the only fully electrified commuter railroad in the United States, which is making an important contribution to improved regional air quality. Press Release

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Delaware Truck Stop Electrification Project

Grant Recipient: The State of Delaware

Locations: Smyrna, Delaware

Award Amount and Year: $1 million (DERA 2009/2010)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Install 24 truck stop electrification (TSE) units

The Story: Truck stop electrification, a type of electrified parking space, helps truckers reduce idling, harmful emissions and fuel costs while complying with Delaware's idling ban on parked trucks and buses. Twenty four of these high-tech spaces were installed at the Smyrna rest area, allowing truckers to shut off their engines and still have access to heat, air conditioning, internet and even cable television. State officials estimate that 44,000 gallons of diesel fuel would be saved annually if just half of the parking spaces were used 10 hours a day. This project demonstrates that idle reduction can help truckers save money and reduce emissions and has received much positive press Exit EPA Disclaimer.

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Cleaner Locomotives in California

Grant Recipient: California Air Resources Board

Locations: San Joaquin Valley and San Bernardino, CA

Award Amount and Year: $3,949,496 (DERA 2009/2010)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Replace (repower) seven switcher locomotives

The Story: The California Air Resources Board (ARB) received funding to replace seven switcher locomotives, which operate at rail yard, at four different locations throughout California. ARB partnered with Central California Tracking Company in Stockton to replace one locomotive, BNSF in San Bernardino for two locomotives, Modesto and Empire Tracking Company in Modesto for two locomotives and Foster Farms in San Joaquin Valley for two locomotives. These old Tier 0 locomotives have been replaced with new EPA Tier 3 engine standards. Annually this project will yield 55 tons of NOx, 1.28 tons of particulate matter, 3.03 tons of HC, 1.97 tons of CO and 2,994 tons of CO2 emission reductions and 81,549 gallons of diesel fuel saved.

Cleaner School Buses in San Diego County

Grant Recipient: San Diego County Air Pollution Control District

Project Locations: San Diego County, California

Award Amount and Year: $1.6 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: One hundred twenty five older school buses replaced, repowered with cleaner engines, or retrofitted with filters

The Story:

With three major international and interstate transportation corridors in San Diego County, vehicular traffic has a big impact on air quality in the area. Forty-one public schools in the county are located within 1500 feet of one of these major highways.

Using Recovery Act funding, San Diego County was able to clean up the dirtiest school buses in its fleet. One hundred twenty five of the oldest buses were either replaced, retrofitted with diesel particulate filters (DPFs), or repowered with newer, cleaner engines. These upgrades will significantly reduce negative impacts on human health as well as smog by reducing emissions of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx).

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Chesapeake Bay Foundation Cleans Up Bay with Replacement of Watercraft Engines

Grant Recipient: Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) dedicated to saving the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams

Project Locations: Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia

Award Amount and Year: $1.3 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Purchase and install new engines on marine vessels

The Story:

Nitrogen is the number one pollutant in the Bay watershed. Most of the airborne nitrogen is in the form of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and a quarter of this lands directly on the Bay or its tidal tributaries, impacting water quality as well as air quality.

One strategy that CBF uses to reduce nitrogen pollution is to focus on the impact of the marine community on the Bay and to educate Bay users on how they can promote cleaner air and water. CBF has replaced the engines on several types of marine vessels that will provide significant air and water quality benefits.

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San Joaquin Valley Agriculture Engine Replacement

Grant Recipient: San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District

Project Locations: San Joaquin Valley, CA

Award Amount and Year: $2 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Replace engines on 33 agriculture vehicles

The Story:

The San Joaquin Valley is home to nearly four million people and is the largest producer of agricultural commodities in the United States. Due to the Valley’s narrow bowl shape and stagnant weather conditions, diesel emissions are collected and held in the Valley, causing increased cases of asthma in children and other health problems related to poor air quality. The San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District worked with local farmers to replace 33 agricultural engines as a way to cut pollution. This project will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).

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Partnership Leads to Success in Reducing Diesel Emissions

Grant Recipient: Associated General Contractors of Kentucky

Locations: Kentucky

Award Amount and Year: $2 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Replace 36 engines and retrofit 18 vehicles with diesel particulate filters (DPFs)

The Story:

Partnership played an important role in the success of the Kentucky Clean Diesel Construction Project to reduce diesel emissions throughout the state. The Associated General Contractors of Kentucky worked closely with its members to replace engines on 36 pieces of equipment and add diesel particulate filters (DPFs) to 18 pieces of equipment. Idle reduction is also being promoted on 100 construction sites across Kentucky. The resulting reduction in particulate matter (PM) is equivalent to removing 110 long haul trucks from the road.

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Minnesota Environmental Initiative’s Project Green Fleet

Grant Recipient: Minnesota Environmental Initiative

Location: Minnesota

Award Amount and Year: $3 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Install diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), diesel particulate filters (DPFs), auxiliary power units (APUs), and other idle reduction technologies; engine and vehicle replacements. Vehicles include school buses, municipal vehicles, on-road vehicles, and non-road equipment.

The Story:

In Minnesota, diesel engines make up ten percent of the road traffic but create over half of the air pollution from vehicles. Project Green Fleet brings together businesses, government and non-profit organizations throughout the state to improve air quality and protect public health by reducing emissions from school buses and other diesel vehicles. This project should reduce over seven tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), two tons of hydrocarbons (HC), and half a ton of particulate matter (PM) annually.

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Great Lakes Commission Bulk Cargo Carrier Project

Grant Recipient: Great Lakes Commission

Project Location: Great Lakes

Award Amount and Year: $1.2 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Replace auxiliary service diesel generators on two ships

The Story:

The Great Lakes Commission replaced two auxiliary service generators on each of two bulk cargo carriers, the H. Lee White and the Indiana Harbor. These ships have been operating since the 1970s. This project reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and particulate matter (PM) pollution, as well as saving thousands of gallons of diesel fuel annually. In addition, this project preserved sailing jobs and created jobs in the Wisconsin ship building and repair industry.

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Older Diesel Vehicles Replaced with Natural Gas Vehicles in Virginia

Grant Recipient: Virginia Clean Cities

Project Locations: Spotsylvania, Richmond, and Chesapeake, VA

Award Amount and Year: $1 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Replace four Spotsylvania school buses, one refuse hauler in Richmond and five refuse haulers in Chesapeake with natural gas-powered vehicles.

The Story:

Virginia Clean Cities works to improve air quality and economic opportunity in the Commonwealth of Virginia and increase U.S. national energy security primarily by encouraging increased use of alternative fuels and vehicles. VCC is part of a network of almost 90 coalitions operating under guidance from the US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program.

On September 22, 2011, VCC hosted a workshop to engage regional partners and fleet owners in a collaborative discussion of natural gas supply and refueling infrastructure, natural gas vehicles and maintenance, and the observations of those implementing natural gas programs in the region. There was also a breakout session to discuss the state's effort to transition to clean domestic fuels.

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Mississippi River Corridor

Grant Recipient: Mississippi River Corridor – Tennessee, Inc.

Locations: Memphis, Tennessee

Award Amount and Year: $2 million (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Retrofit 13 marine high horsepower engines on 6 tugboats with diesel oxidation catalysts and crankcase ventilation systems.

The Story:

The Mississippi River Corridor – Tennessee (MRCT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and promoting the natural, scenic corridor along the Mississippi River in Tennessee. As part of EPA’s Emerging Technology program, MRCT installed diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) and crankcase ventilation systems on six tugboats along the Mississippi River.

Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) testing confirmed reduction in particulate matter (PM) by at least 20 percent and reductions in hydrocarbons (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) by up to 60 percent each from these high horsepower engines. As a result of this project, adjacent communities and tugboat workers will benefit from greatly improved air quality.

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Cleaner Farm Tractors and Cherry Harvesters

Grant Recipient: Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Locations: Utah

Award Amount and Year: $750,000 (Recovery Act 2009)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Engine replacements, equipment replacements, idle reduction

The Story: Old agricultural equipment emits harmful pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) that can have significant health impacts. A number of counties in Utah have PM levels above air quality standards. The Recovery Act grant funded 9 new tractors and new engines for 22 pieces of farm equipment.

Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ) coordinated this project with farmers along the Northern Wasatch Front. To find farmers and cattle ranchers who wanted less polluting equipment, UDEQ worked with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food and Utah State University. Participating farmers made it clear that without the grants, they would not have been able to replace their old equipment.

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Municipal Vehicles Cleaner in Three Missouri Cities

Grant Recipient: Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR)

Locations: Kansas City, Springfield, and St. Louis, Missouri

Award Amount and Year: $726,000 (DERA 2008)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Retrofit 132 municipal vehicles with EPA-verified technologies including diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), idle reduction technologies such as fuel operated heaters and auxiliary power units (APUs), closed crankcase ventilation systems (CCVs) and early vehicle replacements.

Up to 50 percent particulate matter (PM) emissions reduction. Up to 90 percent carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction

The Story:

MoDNR partnered on this project with Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), who contributed $1.2 million and vehicles from their fleet for retrofitting. In addition to providing a successful model of two state agencies working together to achieve mutually beneficial goals, this project helped advance the acceptance of EPA-verified emissions and idle reduction technologies throughout the state.

The retrofits produced emissions reductions of up to 50 percent of particulate matter (PM) and up to 90 percent carbon dioxide (CO2), while saving over 5,600 gallons of fuel annually, showcasing how idle reduction technology reduces fuel consumption as well as emissions.

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Cities and County in Oregon Collaborate to Achieve Regional Clean Air Goals


Grant Recipient: City of Portland Clean Diesel Partnership

Project Locations: Multnomah County and Cities of Portland and Salem, Oregon

Award Amount and Year:

  • $1.6 million(Recovery Act 2009)
  • $0.5 million (DERA 2008)

Clean Diesel Strategy: Install diesel particulate filters (DPFs), crankcase ventilation systems (CCVs), diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs), and fuel-operated heaters; implement clean diesel policy for contractors who work on publicly funded construction projects

The Story:

A 2006 air quality assessment concluded that particulate matter (PM) is one of the top three pollutants contributing to adverse health and cancer risks in the Portland area. The City of Portland Clean Diesel Partnership sought and received federal grants to add emission reduction devices to public fleets and construction equipment in and around neighborhoods that are disproportionately affected by diesel emissions. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the City of Portland and Multnomah County also contributed funding for this project.

Air quality for communities near the highway and rail corridors improved significantly with reductions of five tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx), four tons of particulate matter (PM), 267 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), four tons of hydrocarbons (HC), and 25 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) annually.

In addition to creating jobs and saving 24,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually, the partners developed expertise in clean diesel initiatives and collaboration, paving the way for future environmental programs.

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