Minnesota ‘clean diesel’ grant apps accepted until June 25

| Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Truckers from Minnesota have a new opportunity to obtain money for diesel truck retrofits and APUs.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has announced a $1.57 million clean diesel grant program. The money will be available for trucking companies from Minnesota to obtain idle-reduction technologies such as APUs, emission-control devices such as diesel particulate filters, or reefer repowering.

The grants will cover up to 50 percent of the cost of idle-reduction technologies, 100 percent of the cost of emission control devices, and 75 percent of a repower.

The reefer repower could help long-haulers who haul temperature-dependent loads into and out of California. California will begin enforcing its new reefer regulation in mid-July.

“In order to be eligible to receive these funds, public and private fleet owners must be headquartered in the State of Minnesota,” a summary from the state agency reads. “Owner/operators must reside in Minnesota.”

Applications must be postmarked no later than June 25 to be eligible.

To apply or to learn more, go to www.pca.state.mn.us/air/cleandiesel-grants.html or call Sally Peterson of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at 651-757-2649. Also, OOIDA Members can get more information by calling OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Specialist Joe Rajkovacz at 800-444-5791.

The $1.57 million originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Stephanie Souter, clean diesel specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said the environmental agency has had a school bus retrofit program called Project Green Fleet and a small-business loan program, but the Recovery Act presented new opportunities to help trucking operations in the state.

“The stimulus money represented a chance to offer grants as another option, for both large and small fleets,” Souter told Land Line.

The state agency said in a statement that the program could help create jobs tied to after-market upgrades.

“These Minnesota Clean Diesel grants will not only reduce diesel emissions in our state; they will support the diesel-related manufacturing, assembly and sales jobs both in Minnesota and around the country,” David Thornton, assistant commissioner for air policy at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, said in a statement.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer