U.S. EPA awards $4.1 million for air quality projects in Southern California

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is providing the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) $4,177,083 to improve air quality in the South Coast Air Basin. This EPA grant, part of the agency’s Targeted Airshed Grants program, supports state and local efforts to reduce emissions in areas facing air quality challenges associated with ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), commonly known as smog and soot.

“A significant amount of the air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin comes from vehicles and commercial medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” said EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest John Busterud. “This grant will help our partners in Southern California continue to improve air quality in communities affected by air pollution.”

“These funds will go a long way toward accelerating the transition to zero emissions for one of our region’s largest polluters—the medium- and heavy-duty truck sector,” said South Coast AQMD’s Executive Officer Wayne Nastri. “The more diesel fleets that make the switch to battery electric trucks, the faster we can bring clean air to Angelenos.”

EPA’s funds will be combined with support from other sources for a total of nearly $12.5 million, to deploy 15 medium-duty and 20 heavy-duty zero emission battery-electric trucks. The funding will also support charging infrastructure for the trucks, a key element of this beachhead deployment project. Compared to similar diesel trucks, the 35 battery-electric trucks are estimated to reduce emissions of ozone precursors by 19.5 tons and PM2.5 by 1.2 tons. Additionally, the 35 electric trucks will conserve over 2.8 million gallons of diesel fuel over their service life.

The project is led by the Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) E-Mobility Group. This partnership between DTNA, US Foods, the EPA, and the South Coast AQMD shows concrete progress toward a large-scale shift of commercial truck fleets from diesel fuel to zero-emissions electric powertrain technology.

US Foods, one of the nation’s largest food distributors servicing grocery stores, hospitals and restaurants, has committed to deploy 15 of the zero-emissions trucks from its distribution facility in La Mirada, California. These trucks will travel approximately 50 miles daily and can operate for up to 200 miles per single charge. Communities within the US Foods service area suffer disproportionate pollution and economic burdens compared to other parts of the state. DTNA is in the process of vetting other fleet partners for the remaining electric trucks and will ensure that their operation will benefit disadvantaged communities in the South Coast Air Basin. This deployment will generate immediate reductions in ground level ozone and PM2.5 pollution, while minimizing diesel exhaust exposure for South Coast residents and visitors.

EPA’s Targeted Airshed Grant program offers competitive grants to reduce air pollution in the top five U.S. areas for ozone and PM2.5 pollution.

For more information on air quality grants, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/grants/air-grants-and-funding

This article was released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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