Eco-Tip for 1-6-19
Grants for Diesel Engine Replacement
By David Goldstein, VCPWA, IWMD
Farmers, construction businesses, and commercial boat owners can obtain grants from the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District to fund replacement of diesel engines. Last month, the District’s board allocated over $4 million for grants. Sample application forms are now available on-line, and the process for awarding 2019 funds will begin in March.
Last year, these grants helped pay for replacement of 60 pieces of agricultural equipment (mostly diesel tractors and forklifts); one piece of construction equipment (a large wheel loader); and eleven engines for five marine vessels (commercial fishing boat diesel engines, propulsion units and generators). Because applications exceeded funds available, the District funded an average of only 65 percent of the costs of the average engine or equipment replacement, rather than the full 80 percent they could have funded under rules for some of the state funds they used.
According to a press release from the District, “Ventura County does not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone (smog), and these incentive programs are an important part of the strategy to attain the health-based ozone standard” and to reduce “emissions of toxic diesel particulate matter in the county.”
The largest source of funds for this initiative is the Carl Moyer Program, offered jointly by the California Air Resources Board and California’s local air districts. Funds, derived statewide from fees and fines, help companies reduce emissions to levels below mandated limits. Since 1999, the District has awarded over $42 million to local businesses.
Last year was the first year of a program targeting farmers, not just for grants, but also for rebates and other financial incentives. Farmers are an important target because equipment used on farms has been exempted from many previous air pollution regulations. The incentives encourage farmers to discard old, unregulated, heavily polluting equipment and buy new, less polluting equipment instead.
Priority for funding goes to projects which will reduce diesel emissions primarily affecting low-income, disadvantaged communities.
For more information, see www.vcapcd.org , and click on the “incentives” tab.
Other links: http://www.vcapcd.org/grant_programs.htm#Carl_Moyer_Program _. https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/moyer/moyer.htm https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/ourwork/programs/farmer-program https://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/cap/capfunds.htm