Massachusetts allocates $2 million to replace polluting diesel vehicles

The Baker-Polito Administration announced grant awards for projects that will reduce the release of harmful diesel emissions into the atmosphere from vehicles across the Commonwealth and help to accelerate the retirement of older, less efficient, and more polluting vehicles.

The programme, funded through the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), has awarded 36 grants to 11 communities or private entities, totalling $2,083,873. This includes $350,000 to help acquire 12 Autogas school buses, based in the Dorchester bus yard, in the city of Boston.

“Our administration continues to identify and advance projects that better position the state in combating against the impact of climate change with an equitable approach,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The shift to cleaner vehicles will reduce the exposure of our citizens to diesel emissions, improve air quality, and assist us as we work to meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate goals.”

“Emissions not only pollute our environment, but also threaten the health of residents across the Commonwealth, so reducing emissions requires an aggressive approach, and these DERA funds will aid us as we shift towards cleaner technologies,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to watching these projects progress further along and ultimately aiding the Commonwealth on its path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

According to a spokesperson for Boston Public Schools (BPS), the agency has 739 buses in its fleet; 407 of those are LPG-powered and 332 are diesel. BPS began adding LPG buses to its school fleet in 2015 and will purchase another 89 buses this year, in addition to the 12 funded through the state. For more information, please check this link.

Photo: PERC

19 January 2022