EPA money earmarked for national groups focused on reducing truck engine idling

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to finance as many as two national, non-profit organizations to work with the trucking industry to reduce engine idling. EPA is soliciting proposals that would include mobile technologies that provide, or allow for, air-conditioning, heating, and/or electrical power, which will reduce or eliminate the need to use the main propulsion engine during long-duration rest periods.

Alternative idle reduction technologies have been available to the trucking and locomotive industry for many years; however, their market penetration averages less than 1%, according to EPA. Cost has been cited as the greatest deterrent to purchasing these technologies.

The grant plan will support efforts to engage large fleet companies operating in or through areas with poor air quality. Truckstops and switchyards can be found in many parts of the United States, but high concentrations of these locations tend to appear in low-income, minority neighborhoods. Crucial to evaluating proposals will be assessing their potential effectiveness in reducing air emissions in those neighborhoods, according to EPA.

Each grant recipient can receive up to $200,000.

The grants will go to the national, non-profit organizations to aid them in working with trucking and/or locomotive companies in installing and using idle reduction technologies. Applicants are encouraged to explore approaches that seek partnerships that include financial participation and reinvestment of savings from private truck and/or locomotive companies.

Among possible solutions are electrification and auxiliary power units at truckstops along Interstate highways. In addition, EPA and DOT will develop partnership agreements with trucking fleets, truckstops, and manufacturers of idle-reducing technologies to install and use low-emissions-idling technologies.

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