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Diesel fleets to get a boost from Stimulus Plan

Among the many areas targeted by the recently passed economic stimulus plan is reducing air emissions from diesel engines. The Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission (SEMORPC) has been awarded a subgrant to implement a Clean Diesel Program in Southeast Missouri.

About $375,000 is available to public and private entities in Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois or Ste. Genevieve Counties to reduce air emissions from diesel engines. Any diesel fleet owner or operator with on-road or off-road heavy or medium duty diesel vehicles or equipment in one of the specified counties may submit an application.

Public entities include transit buses, school buses, refuse haulers, municipal trucks, snowplows, fire trucks, emergency vehicles and passenger trains. All others are considered private.

Eligible vehicles include school buses, transit buses, medium and heavy duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives, construction equipment, cargo handling equipment, agriculture equipment, mining equipment and energy production equipment. On-road vehicles must weigh at least 16,000 pounds.

The grant was awarded by Missouri Department of Natural Resources through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Among eligible projects:

• purchase and install emission control equipment

• idle reduction technology

• SmartWay technology

• engine upgrade kits

• fuel conversion kits

• engine repowers

• early vehicle or equipment replacements

• low rolling resistance tires

Some projects, such as vehicle replacements, require a match. Others, such as idle reduction technology can be funded 100 percent for public entities and 75 percent for private businesses.

School bus replacements may receive 50 percent funding if the new busses meet 2010 standards.

Projects must be started and completed between Oct. 26, 2009 and April 30, 2010 to be eligible for reimbursement. Initial costs are covered by the entity. Administrative costs are not eligible for reimbursement.

The minimum funding that may be requested is $3,500 and the maximum award is $50,000.

An equal amount of funding is dedicated to public and private fleets.

Complete details, along with application materials, have been posted to the Web site, < >.

Chauncy Bucheit with SEMORPC suggested entities that might have a qualified project review the information at the Web site and then call with any questions. The deadline for application is September 30.

“We are under some pretty tight time constraints,” he said.

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