Connecticut offers incentive to lower emissions

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The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently announced a new state initiative to reduce diesel emissions by making $360,000 available to municipalities, organizations, businesses and individuals for replacement of on-road, heavy-duty diesel trucks with new, low-emission trucks. A heavy duty diesel truck is one which has a gross vehicle weight rating of over 8,500 pounds.

“This program will contribute to Connecticut’s efforts to address public health and environmental concerns by reducing diesel emissions and making our air cleaner,” said Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “The program benefits municipalities and local taxpayers as it provides funding for replacing old vehicles that pollute Connecticut’s air with new, low-emission trucks that will help improve air quality in areas that need it most – in heavy transportation corridors and for those living in an environmental justice community.”

Funds are from a federal court consent decree involving an environmental enforcement matter with American Electric Power Service Corporation, Columbus, Ohio. The court decree executed by the judge requires that the funds be used to reduce air pollution.

Replacement vehicles are not limited to new diesel-powered trucks, but they must meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest standards for emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Funding will be limited to 25 percent of the cost of the new truck, before tax. The old, replaced trucks must be rendered inoperable – they may be sold as scrap, but cannot be sold as working vehicles. Grant recipients must agree to keep the new truck in use for at least three years.

Funding of municipal projects is a priority of this grant program. Projects will be prioritized on the following:

• Operation in an environmental justice community
• Operation in a heavy traffic transportation corridor or hub in Connecticut
• Operation in areas that receive a disproportionate quantity of air pollution form on-road diesel fleets, including ports, rail yards, terminals, resource recovery facilities and distribution centers.

All proposals must be received by Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 and should be submitted to Patrice Kelly at Patrice.Kelly@ct.gov or via fax at (860) 424-4063. For questions on grant program contact Patrice Kelly by phone at (860) 424-3410.

For further information on this grant program and application procedures, visit the DEEP website.

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