Chris Galati, President of the Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition, announced today the Coalition was awarded $740,518 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funds to reduce harmful diesel emissions in trucks and refrigerated trailers. EPA funding will provide extensive support to Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities.
Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities was awarded $740,518 for projects to reduce diesel emissions for the “Cleaner Air Portland – Clean Trucks and Electrification of Refrigerated Transport” project. The Coalition will manage sub-awards to fleet partners: Vigor Industrial and DPI Specialty Foods, and project partners Neighbors for Clean Air, CleanFuture, Inc., and Oregon Environmental Council.
Coalition Executive Director Brian Trice and Director of Policy & Communications Michael Graham will provide project leadership and oversight to ensure project success, while John Thornton of CleanFuture, Inc. will manage and coordinate partner progress and provide technical assistance. Community outreach and communications will be supported by Neighbors for Clean Air and Oregon Environmental Council.
This EPA funding will reduce diesel emissions in medium- and heavy-duty trucks using diesel particulate filters, as well reduce emissions in refrigerated trailers by replacing diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs) with hybrid-electric TRUs and all-electric battery/solar-powered TRUs.
Diesel emissions are a major health concern according to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), and while diesel-powered vehicles only make up 6% of the on-road vehicles in Oregon, their emissions constitute 60-70% of particulate emissions from all vehicles. The International Association for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organization, and the ODEQ both classify diesel exhaust as a known human carcinogen.
Projects which reduce diesel emissions, such as Columbia-Willamette’s can reduce health-related costs, improve air quality and public health. In Oregon alone the estimated avoided health and welfare impacts of diesel exhaust exposure are about $3.5 billion according to ODEQ. “We’re honored to receive the award from US EPA, and we’re excited at the opportunity to improve air quality right here in our Coalition’s home region” says Galati.
The Columbia-Willamette Clean Cities Coalition is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, US Department of Energy Program, whose primary mission is to support the nation’s energy and economic security by building partnerships to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels and technologies. We help our public and private fleet members adopt alternative fuel solutions throughout the State of Oregon and Southwestern Washington, and their combined efforts in last year displaced the equivalent of 27 million gallons of gasoline, 493,000 pounds of nitrous oxide, and 213,000 tons of greenhouse gases. They are excited to continue this important work with the additional assistance from this EPA funding.