11/20/2018

Hawaii receives over $400K in federal funding to curb diesel pollution

This story appeared in the Pacific Business News on Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hawaii will receive more than $400,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to curb harmful pollution from diesel vehicles in the state.

The $411,578 grant is part of the Diesel Emission Reductions Act, which is administered by the EPA's West Coast Collaborative.

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

The Hawaii Department of Health said it plans to use the grant to replace two diesel transit buses with fully battery-powered electric vehicles.

According to the EPA's release, the DERA funds will be combined with $274,385 in Volkswagen mitigation matching funds and $837,870 in cost-share funds from participating fleets.

"The Hawaii 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 DOH Deputy Director for Environmental Health Dr. Keith Kawaoka said. "In addition to reducing diesel emissions, this project will lower greenhouse gases in parallel with Hawaii’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2045.”