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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Release: Immediate
Date: March 22, 2006
Contact: Tom Mather
(919) 715-7408


GRANTS TO SUPPORT CLEANER VEHICLES, IMPROVE AIR QUALITY

RALEIGH - State environmental officials have awarded $799,511 in grants for projects to reduce air pollution from motor vehicles, such as retrofitting school buses with controls to curb diesel emissions and building facilities for producing or distributing biodiesel fuel.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) awarded the grants through the Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grants program, which is administered through the Division of Air Quality. This year's grant winners include 16 projects from 14 counties:

  • Advanced Energy, Wake County, $140,000 to purchase a hybrid electric school bus.
  • Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Buncombe County, $27,000 to purchase electric vehicles.
  • Cabarrus County Schools, (2 grants), $23,000 for biodiesel equipment, and $46,000 for school bus retrofits.
  • Carolina Coastal Railway, Beaufort County, $8,889 for idle reduction equipment.
  • Catawba Valley Heritage Alliance, Catawba County, $24,900 for biodiesel equipment.
  • Charlotte Area Transit System, Mecklenburg County, $38,000 for bus retrofits.
  • Charlotte/Mecklenburg County Schools, $60,000 for an idle reduction program and equipment.
  • City of Greensboro, Guilford County, $20,000 for installation of diesel oxidation catalysts on trucks.
  • Cumberland County Schools, $99,000 for school bus retrofits.
  • Gaston County Schools, $81,000 for school bus retrofits.
  • High County Biofuels, Watauga County, $21,825 for biodiesel equipment.
  • Lincoln County Schools, $48,000 for school bus retrofits.
  • Pasquotank County, $139,000 for biodiesel equipment.
  • Randolph County, $13,500 for the purchase of a hybrid fuel vehicle.
  • Town of Marshville, Union County, $9,397for the purchase of a hybrid fuel vehicle.

"These projects should help reduce air pollution problems caused by buses, trucks and other vehicles," DAQ Director Keith Overcash said. "Exhaust from motor vehicles contributes to many air quality problems, including ozone, haze, particle pollution and climate change."

The mobile grants program is funded by a 1/64-cent per gallon tax on gasoline sold in North Carolina. It awards grants for projects and equipment that limit air pollution from cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. The program has awarded 88 grants totaling $6.44 million statewide since 1995.

Mobile sources are any type of motor vehicle that can pollute the air, including automobiles, trucks, buses, railroad locomotives, motorcycles, off-road vehicles, construction equipment, motorboats and lawnmowers. The grants can be used for equipment, such as alternative fuel vehicles, that directly reduce the levels of air pollutants generated by motor vehicles or for projects that indirectly reduce mobile emissions, such as car-pooling, mass transit and educational initiatives. More information about the mobile grants program and other air quality issues can be found at the DAQ Web site: www.ncair.org.

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N.C. Division of Air Quality
B. Keith Overcash, Director
1641 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1641
Tom Mather, Public Information Officer
(919)715-7408, FAX (919)715-7175
tom.mather@ncdenr.gov

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Last Modified: Wed March 22 16:23:48 2006
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