The grants will go toward refurbishing or replacing previous generations of diesel engines in everything from vehicles and vessels to locomotives. The Ohio EPA estimates that the work funded by the grants will reduce air pollutants in Ohio by 745 tons. Those reductions will continue to accrue each year, providing lasting results in the state’s air quality.
Funding for the DERG program is provided through the Federal Highway Administration’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program. The largest grants, of $1 million each, went to AK Steel Corp. and Stark Area Regional Transit Authority to partially fund the repowering two diesel locomotives and purchase a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell transit bus and three diesel transit buses, respectively.
The Ohio EPA will be accepting applications for another cycle of the DERG program later this year, from which it will award approximately $10 million in grant funding. That cycle will be limited to 35 eligible counties and portions of three counties within the state.