Fresno, CA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this week it would award the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD) over $3.7 million for two projects the District is spearheading to improve Valley air quality by reducing heavy-duty diesel vehicle emissions.
The SJVAPCD was awarded the federal funding through the EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants program and will match the federal dollars with SJVAPCD funds for both projects. Congressman Costa has been a longtime supporter of the DERA program, most recently joining his House colleagues in advocating for continued and robust program support in the 2019 Fiscal Year spending bill.
“The Valley faces unique challenges when it comes to improving our air quality, and I applaud the District for designing effective programs that both meet the real needs in the San Joaquin Valley and deservingly earn federal support,” said Valley Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16). “Our communities are best served when local, state, and federal leaders work together, and I look forward to continuing to work with the District to make our air cleaner and to build a stronger and healthier Valley for all of us.”
The first project will replace over 100 heavy-duty diesel trucks in the Valley with newer trucks, while the second will replace 100 diesel-powered agricultural tractors with new off-road agricultural equipment. Both projects require the new replacement vehicles to have dramatically lower emissions than the older vehicles, meeting or even exceeding current EPA emission standards.
Agriculture and trucking are critical for the Valley’s economy, and both currently rely on diesel-fueled vehicles or equipment that are a significant source of air pollution. These projects aim to support the Valley’s economic needs while also improving the region’s air quality and health.
“Agriculture is essential to the success of the San Joaquin Valley. The District will continue working with Valley growers, EPA, and other agencies to keep moving forward with clean air efforts and investments in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Samir Sheikh, SJVAPCD Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer.
Congressman Jim Costa Says San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District Awarded $3.7 Million to Improve Valley Air Quality, Press Release, Sierra Sun Times, October 29, 2018.