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Ohio EPA Offering Grants to Replace Diesel-Powered Off-Road Equipment with Electric-Powered Equipment

Applications Accepted until Aug. 12

Ohio EPA is accepting applications for 2022 Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund grants through Aug. 12, 2022. Grants are available for off-road equipment operating in 26 priority counties.

Owners of aging diesel cargo handling equipment, airport ground support equipment, and freight switcher locomotives in eligible counties may apply for grants to repower or replace the diesel equipment with new all-electric equipment, or all-electric and alternative-fueled switcher locomotives.

A total of $5 million is available for individual grant awards between $50,000 and $2 million. Owners of switcher locomotives with prospective projects larger than $2 million should discuss funding options with Ohio EPA before applying. All applicants are required to provide a minimum match of 25 percent, with larger matches required for some project categories.

Two virtual information sessions will be held for prospective applicants. The first is June 21 at 11 a.m. and the second is June 22 at 2:30 p.m. Registration is not required.

The application deadline is 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12. Applications must be submitted online at Ohio EPA’s Customer Support Center. Application guidelines are posted on the “DMTF 2021 Request for Applications to Replace Diesel Off-road Equipment” link. For assistance, contact the Office of Environmental Education at DERG@epa.ohio.gov, or call (614) 644-2873.

Funding for the grants comes from Ohio’s allocations from the Volkswagen Mitigation Trust Fund. Overall, the grant program is investing $75 million over 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) pollution. A lawsuit alleged that VW installed defeat devices on certain vehicles (model years 2009-2016). The devices activated during emissions testing made vehicles appear compliant with the law, when in fact, during on-road operation, the vehicles emitted nine to 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxides, a harmful air pollutant. A settlement in federal court allocated funds to states based on the number of vehicles with the illegal devices that were registered in each state.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.