In February, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). As part of President Obama's ARRA, the North Carolina State Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Air Quality was granted $1.73 Million to be used to reduce emissions from diesel engines. With these funds, the Division of Air Quality set up two programs. The first provides funds for a rebate program for Auxillary Power Unit or Heavy-Duty Diesel replacements for long haul trucks. The bulk of the grant, however, was used to solicit and select worthy "shovel ready" projects to reduce mobile emissions from diesel engines. This program was called the NC Diesel Emissions-Economic Recovery (DEER) Grant. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources awarded approximately $1.1 Million in - NC DEER Grant funds.
What Types of projects were funded?
The purpose of the NC DEER Grant program was to reduce emissions from North Carolina's mobile diesel emissions. Selected projects included retrofitting diesel engines with retrofit devices, buying down the cost of biodiesel, and replacing older dirtier diesel engines with cleaner diesel engines.
ARRA DERA Awards
Why is Reducing Emissions from Diesel Mobile Sources Important?
Older diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution in North Carolina. Nonroad mobile sources (such as construction equipment, airplanes, trains and boats) contribute 18% of the Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), 16% of the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), and 5% Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) of the statewide emissions in 2009. According to the EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign web site, replacing an older engine with a new cleaner engine or retrofitting are effective options for reducing NOx, PM, VOC, and CO. North Carolina is a NOx limited state, which means that we must target NOx reductions to control the formation of ozone. North Carolina already has taken a number of steps toward reducing NOx emissions - including adopting the Clean Smokestacks Act that requires coal-fired power plants to reduce NOx and SO2, funding the Mobile Source Emissions Reduction Grant Program, and now promoting the NC Clean Construction LEADER Grant to target construction equipment.