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DNR expands Clean Diesel Grant Program

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for projects that reduce diesel emissions and improve Wisconsin’s air quality and human health.

In August, Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #38, calling on state agencies to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster clean energy innovation. The DNR is expanding eligibility of the Clean Diesel Grant Program to include municipal transit buses, non-road engines and vehicles and equipment used for construction, cargo handling and agriculture.

Approximately $770,000 is available to reduce emissions from eligible diesel engines across the state. Applications are being accepted until Jan. 3, 2020.

EPA began awarding clean diesel grants in 2008 under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), a grant program created by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

While older diesel engines remain reliable, they pollute more than newer engines. The DERA program has helped improve the state’s air quality by reducing emissions that contribute to fine particulate, ozone and carbon monoxide levels. These engines are also a source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, an important greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Clean diesel grant programs such as DERA have reduced CO2 emissions in Wisconsin by more than 600,000 tons over the lifetime of the programs.

In addition to improving air quality, reducing diesel emissions also helps vehicle owners reduce fuel consumption and operating costs.

“The Air Program is proud to continue participating in this grant program that encourages diesel operators to implement emission reduction strategies to improve our state’s air quality, safeguard public health and reduce fuel consumption,” said Gail Good, DNR Air Program Director.

Wisconsin benefits substantially from the pollution reduction, health cost savings and local economic incentives of clean diesel grant programs such as DERA. In Wisconsin, these programs have:

• Updated or replaced more than 5,200 pieces of diesel equipment.

• Reduced diesel emissions by more than 625,000 tons.

• Saved more than 49 million gallons of diesel fuel.

• Resulted in more than $20 million annual savings in health benefits.

• Resulted in more than $283 million in health cost savings over the lifetime of the programs.

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