Controversial Arizona grant program to retrofit Mexican trucks expires

| 8/17/2011

A controversial grant program that funded emissions retrofits for Mexican trucking companies has expired.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has funded emission retrofits for many Mexican-owned trucks through the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. 

As of mid-April, the program had funded between 65 and 70 retrofits at a cost of $1,200 to $1,500 per unit. The program funded about 75 total, a spokesman told Land Line Magazine Wednesday.

The program expired recently after the grant program ran out of time. Mark Shaffer, a spokesman with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, told Land Line Now Wednesday that the program expired on June 30, the end of the grant’s fiscal year.

“We basically equipped all the trucks that we could down in that region,” Shaffer said. “I believe we had funding, had we been able to find trucks, to fund 34 more of them, but this project had to be completed by June 30.”

Shaffer said the program came under increased scrutiny after an article about it was published this spring in the Arizona Republic.

“There was concern among some legislators here in Arizona, and among some trucking companies here north of the border,” he said.

In all, about half of the 75 trucks retrofitted were Mexican-owned, Shaffer said.

Land Line Now Reporter Reed Black contributed to this article.