The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has been awarded a 496-thousand dollar grant to reduce the emissions of Wasatch Front-based heavy-duty trucks. The funding comes from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. Lisa Burr is senior research analyst with the Utah Division of Air Quality. She says the money goes directly toward improving engine technology.
“It is going to be used to purchase exhaust control devises for long haul trucks and idle reduction technologies for long haul trucks and replace a non-road piece of equipment and a short haul truck that’s used to make local deliveries,” says Burr.
She says the program provides particulate filters to reduce the soot output by up to 90 percent that are fully paid for from this award money.
“And we actually have a waitlist of small trucking businesses that have been interested in getting these diesel particulate filters installed on their trucks so that they can get into California,” says Burr.
One aspect of the program requires companies to destroy older model engines, which Burr says is very cost prohibitive, so not all companies are able to take advantage of the funding assistance.
Shaun McGrath, the EPA’s regional administrator in Denver, says getting Utah’s trucking fleets up to speed with these technologies is a step towards healthier air quality.