The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) has awarded $1.42 million grant for projects to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles, through the Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grants program. The grants cover a range of projects, such as retrofitting school buses with controls to limit diesel emissions, repowering non-road equipment with cleaner-burning engines, converting vehicles to run on alternative fuels.
The projects of expanding biodiesel storage and distribution equipment, and purchasing electric motorcycles can also receive grant under the program.
The Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grants program is administered through the Division of Air Quality (DAQ).
Additional funding for these 2009 grants came from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program. This grant winners include 21 projects from 14 counties. The project recipients, county locations, and amounts of grants are:
Alamance Community College, Alamance county, $17,590 to purchase an electric vehicle;
Asheville Regional Airport, Buncombe county, $190,000 to replace diesel ground equipment with electric;
City of Greenville, Pitt county, $32,500 to purchase a hybrid bucket truck;
City of Hickory, Catawba county, $80,000 to replace a diesel street sweeper with compressed natural gas;
Cleveland Community College, Cleveland county, $13,311 to purchase an electric vehicle;
Duke Energy, Mecklenburg county, $79,882 to repower a switcher locomotive;
Foothills Biodiesel, Caldwell county, $45,000 to purchase biodiesel infrastructure;
Gaston county Solid Waste, $9,163 to repower a track loader;
Haywood Community College, Haywood county $35,500 to purchase biodiesel equipment;
Mecklenburg county Air Quality, $234,635 to repower, retrofit or replace construction equipment;
Mountain Mobility, Buncombe county, $31,605 to convert vehicles to propane;
N.C. Ports, New Hanover county, $144,371 to retrofit port equipment with controls to curb diesel emissions;
N.C. Solar Center, Wake county, $155,629 to reduce emissions from diesel and gasoline vehicles;
Piedmont Biofuels, Chatham county, $35,000 to purchase a vacuum truck to collect oil from area businesses;
Triangle J Council of Government, Durham county, $25,500 to convert one school bus to hybrid;
Town of Dillsboro, Jackson county, $30,850 to retrofit buses with diesel emissions control devices;
Town of Knightdale, Wake county, $18,800 to convert vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG);
UNC Asheville, Buncombe county, $70,000 to purchase refueling infrastructure;
UNC Charlotte, Mecklenburg county, $24,600 to purchase electric motorcycles;
Woods Charter Schools, Chatham county, $12,736 to retrofit school buses with controls to curb diesel emissions;
City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg county, $133,500 to purchase two compressed natural gas refuse trucks;
Exhaust from motor vehicles contributes to many air quality problems, including ozone, haze and particle pollution, DAQ Director Keith Overcash said. These projects should help reduce air pollution problems caused by buses, trucks and other vehicles.
The mobile grants program is funded by a 1/64-cent per gallon tax on gasoline sold in North Carolina. It awards grants for projects and equipment that limit air pollution from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. The program has awarded 153 grants totaling more than $10 million statewide since 1995. This year, part of the funding was used to match the EPA DERA grant monies.
Mobile sources are any type of vehicle that can pollute the air, including automobiles, trucks, buses, locomotives, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, construction equipment and lawnmowers. The grants can be used for equipment, such as alternative fuel vehicles, that directly reduce the levels of air pollutants generated by motor vehicles or for projects that indirectly reduce mobile emissions, such as car-pooling and mass transit.