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Baker-Polito Administration Awards $1.8 Million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act Grants to Reduce Air Pollution from Diesel Engines 

BOSTONThe Baker-Polito Administration today announced the latest round of Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant awards for projects that will reduce the release of harmful diesel emissions into the atmosphere from vehicles and equipment across the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) DERA Electric Solicitation program awarded eight grants to seven communities or private entities, totaling $1,878,233 for electric vehicles (EV) and equipment to replace diesel-fueled versions. MassDEP prioritized projects that serve Environmental Justice populations, drive technological and policy progress, and promote equitable geographic distribution of the DERA funding across the state.

“Our administration understands that electrifying the transportation sector is vital as we continue down our path towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This investment will improve air quality and expand the market for innovative transportation technologies.”

Use of these DERA funds will help to cement Massachusetts as a leader in cutting-edge transportation technologies,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Residents across the Commonwealth will see the health and environmental benefits enabled by this grant program.”

Diesel emissions can not only result in serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses, but also exacerbate global climate change. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution, while carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas. The Baker-Polito Administration estimates that the EV replacements announced today will result in 100 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions, for total project lifetime reductions of 2.4 short tons of NOx, 857.2 short tons of CO2, and 0.11 short tons of PM2.5.

“With this funding, the Baker-Polito Administration is prioritizing improving air quality by reducing emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Working with communities and fleet managers, this funding will help to reduce harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases from the transportation sector.”

In addition to the DERA grant program offering up to 45 percent of replacement vehicle costs, 95 percent of the grant funding announced today is in Environmental Justice areas where there are high populations of minority, low-income, and low-English-proficiency residents.

“MassDEP remains committed to addressing the issue of diesel emissions, especially those disproportionally affecting Environmental Justice communities,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The emissions reductions that will result from replacing diesel equipment represent another step being taken to achieve better air quality, and quality-of-life, for every resident in the Commonwealth.”

The following communities and private entities have been awarded DERA funding:

Applicant Name

Project Garage Location

Project Type

Awarded Funding

Amherst Public Schools

Amherst

One electric school bus and charger

$196,920.00

City of Cambridge

Cambridge

One electric rubbish packer

$305,625.15

City of Medford

Medford

One electric street sweeper and charger

$282,915.00

City of Melrose

Melrose

One electric rubbish packer and charger

$268,084.35

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., LLC

Assonet

One electric Transportation Refrigeration Unit, trailer and charger

$85,524.30

Town of Barnstable

Hyannis

One electric rubbish packer

$256,443.30

WIN Waste Innovations of Northern New England Inc.

Saugus

Two electric refuse handlers and chargers

$482,721.05

“I am thrilled to see the Stop & Shop in Assonet receive this incredible funding for their electrification efforts,” said State Representative Carole Fiola (D-Fall River). “Reducing diesel emissions is one of the Commonwealth's priorities and it is thrilling to see the efforts being made in our region.”

“I'm pleased to see Melrose awarded $268,084 in state funds through the Diesel Emission Reduction Act program to purchase an electric rubbish packer and charger,” said State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose). “Electrification of the City's municipal fleet is one of the five main strategies in our Net Zero Action Plan. This grant award enables the City to lead by example in reducing hazardous emissions into the atmosphere from vehicles and equipment.”

“I am proud of the efforts being made in the 8th Bristol District to reduce harmful emissions,” said State Representative Paul A. Schmid III (D-Westport). “Assonet will be host to one of the first ever transportation refrigeration units in Massachusetts powered by electricity. I look forward to seeing the success of this project and the further investment into equipment like this.”

For more information on the DERA grant program, please click here.

MassDEP’s mission is to protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s natural resources – air, water and land – to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all people, and a clean and safe environment for future generations. In carrying out this mission, MassDEP commits to address and advance environmental justice and equity for all people of the Commonwealth, provide meaningful, inclusive opportunities for people to participate in agency decisions that affect their lives, and ensure a diverse workforce that reflects the communities served by the agency.

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