SPECIAL REPORT: OOIDA to receive $1 million for APU project

By Land Line staff | 8/11/2010

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been selected to receive a $1 million grant to implement a project with a total cost of more than $2.3 million. Through the project, approximately 300 emission-cutting auxiliary power units (APUs) will be installed in long-haul diesel trucks operating in EPA Regions 6 and 7.

Region 6 includes Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and 66 tribal nations. Region 7 includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and nine tribal nations.

OOIDA is among five organizations included in a total grant of more than $5.1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funds, granted to aid in diesel emissions reductions in EPA Region 7. The funds are part of $64 million allocated nationwide this fiscal year through DERA’s grant program.

Through DERA, EPA provides support for retrofits, engine upgrades, vehicle replacements, idle reduction, cleaner fuels and financing for clean technologies for trucks, buses, and non-road equipment. Overall, the improvements funded by these grants consist of EPA-verified and certified technologies to assist in the reduction of diesel emissions.

The grants will be administered through the OOIDA Foundation, which is the Association’s research arm. OOIDA Media Spokesperson Norita Taylor said Wednesday that the Foundation is now working with EPA on details regarding applications, which will be handled by OOIDA’s Equipment Finance Department.

“OOIDA is not yet processing applications,” Taylor said. “While we are pleased to be among those selected, it’s a little too soon for us to take applications.”

However, qualifying OOIDA members who reside in Region 6 and 7 (states are listed above) may contact the Equipment Finance Department through OOIDA’s main switchboard at 1-800-444-5791 for details on the program.

Margo Fries, manager of OOIDA’s equipment finance department, said OOIDA will be able to offer members a 40 percent reimbursement for the cost of the APU unit and the installation of the unit.  This particular grant will be only for OOIDA members who reside in Region 6 and 7.

Watch landlinemag.com for updates on the program.

The other organizations include the Passenger Vessel Association, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the National School Transportation Association, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi.

EPA estimates every dollar invested in reducing diesel exhaust will yield up to $13 in public health benefits. Through the use of this funding, the agency claims potential for approximately $4 billion of health benefits nationwide.

Since Congress first appropriated funds under this program, 279 grants totaling nearly $350 million have been awarded. A total of 119 grants were awarded with FY08 funding ($49.2 million), and 160 have been awarded since then with Recovery Act funding ($300 million).

Funding for this year’s grants is provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17, 2009, and has directed that the public be able to see how every dollar is being invested. For that information, go to www.recovery.gov.

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