Maui Business

EPA Grant for Clean Air Projects in Hawaiʻi

November 20, 2018, 9:52 AM HST
* Updated November 20, 11:41 AM
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The US Environmental Protection Agency awarded $411,578 in Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants to Hawaiʻi to curb harmful pollution from diesel vehicle sources.

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health plans to use the grant to replace two diesel transit buses with fully battery-powered electric vehicles. The DERA funds will be combined with $274,385 in Volkswagen mitigation matching funds provided by the Hawaiʻi Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism and $837,870 in cost-share funds from participating fleets.

“The Hawai‘i Department of Health is excited to continue its partnership with the EPA to improve our state’s air quality through the DERA grant program,” said HDOH Deputy Director for Environmental Health Dr. Keith Kawaoka. In addition to reducing diesel emissions, this project will lower greenhouse gases in parallel with Hawai‘i’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045.”

The EPA says the project will bring cleaner diesel engines to economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart and lung disease.

“By promoting clean diesel technologies, we can improve air quality and human health, advance American innovation and support green jobs,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Public-private partnerships like the West Coast Collaborative are leading the way on reducing harmful diesel emissions and creating opportunities in in economically disadvantaged communities.”

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The DERA program is administered by the EPA’s West Coast Collaborative, a partnership comprised of EPA’s Pacific Southwest and Pacific Northwest Regions, which leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources.

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