A handful of projects in coastal counties will see some of the $1.37 million in grants awarded by the state for projects that will reduce air pollution from diesel-powered mobile sources.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality announced Friday the Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grants, which are awarded yearly for projects to replace, retrofit or repair diesel vehicles and reduce emissions.
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.
This year’s awarded projects will replace 10 diesel vehicles with cleaner alternatives. Most of the funding, more than $909,000, will go toward new electric vehicles. Electrification projects, projects in historically under-resourced counties, and projects submitted by minority-owned or women-owned businesses received bonus points during the scoring of applications.
Applications for the 2022 grants opened in September and closed in November.
The division awarded grants to the following projects:
- Hyde County — $65,000 to replace one diesel waste-water pump with an electric stationary pump and funds associated infrastructure. This project eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions and 1.6 tons of lifetime nitrogen oxide emissions associated with an internal combustion engine.
- SMM Southeast, LLC in Craven County — $406,000 to replace one diesel material handler with an electric material handler and funds associated infrastructure. This project eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions and 4.45 tons of lifetime nitrogen oxide emissions associated with an internal combustion engine.
- Waste Management of Carolinas in New Hanover and Lee counties — $90,000 to replace three diesel refuse trucks with three low-nitrogen oxide, compressed natural gas refuse trucks. This project reduces 4.69 tons of lifetime nitrogen oxide emissions associated with diesel combustion engines.
- Bald Head Transportation Inc. in Brunswick County — $185,600 to replace two marine diesel propulsion engines trucks with new, cleaner technology. This project reduces lifetime nitrogen oxide emissions by 23.9 tons.
Projects statewide include $297,400 to the town of Chapel Hill to replace a diesel refuse truck with a new electric refuse truck and funds associated infrastructure; $140,800 to Hirschbach Motor Lines Inc. in Bladen County to replace a diesel yard spotter with one electric yard spotter; and $183,950 to Cumberland County Solid Waste in to replace one diesel excavator and one diesel grader with new, cleaner equipment.
Officials said that, in total, this year’s awards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2,656 tons over their lifetimes. They will also eliminate more than 40 tons of nitrogen oxides and 2 tons of particulate matter, officials said.
The grants are funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program. The purpose of the program is to support projects designed to achieve significant diesel emissions reductions.
Awards from the 2021 Diesel Emission Reduction grant program funded the replacement of 11 vehicles, reducing estimated nitrogen oxide emissions by 23.5 tons over their lifetimes.
For more information about the grant program, visit the Division of Air Quality’s website at https://deq.nc.gov/DERA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.