Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the first $3.4 million (all prices U.S.) in funding for clean diesel projects under the $50 million Diesel Emission Reduction Program. The campaign makes awards to save fuel and lower greenhouse gas and diesel exhaust emissions from the country’s existing fleet of 11 million diesel engines.

“This fall, EPA is paving the way for clean diesel progress,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “These grants encourage technologies that will help truckers save over $72 million in fuel costs per year and lower their environmental impacts.”

The $3.4 million went to the Community Development Transportation Lending Services in Washington, D.C.; Cascade Sierra Solutions in Oregon; and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association in Missouri. These organizations received the funding for small trucking firms to lower their fuel costs and shrink their carbon footprints through innovative loans and rebates.

The EPA will also begin disbursing $14.8 million for state clean diesel programs; all 50 states will receive funds, and 35 will put matching resources toward the programs. The EPA will also disburse $27.6 million in grants through its ten regional offices, and $3.4 million for emerging technologies this winter.

Diesel engines emit 7.3 million tones of nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot anually. The EPA said that its new diesel engine standards will significantly reduce emissions from newly-manufactured engines, while the grants will lower emissions from engines already in use through clean innovative technology.

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