Contact(s): Mike Friedlander, Transportation Program Specialist, 608-267-0806, Michael.Friedlander@wisconsin.gov
February 25, 2020
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources awarded more than $750,000 to 40 projects aimed at improving Wisconsin's air quality and addressing climate change.
The grants are for projects that fund the replacement or upgrade of older, higher-emitting diesel engines on school buses and construction equipment across the state with newer, cleaner technologies. One of the projects funds the purchase of zero-emission lawn mowers in the city of Eau Claire to replace aging diesel equipment.
"While older diesel engines can be reliable, they pollute more than newer models," said Gail Good, DNR Air Program Director. "These projects will help improve the air quality in communities across the state."
Diesel engines emit harmful pollutants, including fine particles that can lodge deep in the lungs and enter the bloodstream. These pollutants can contribute to serious public health problems, including asthma, lung cancer and various other cardiac and respiratory diseases. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to these impacts.
In addition to improving local air quality, these grants advance Wisconsin's efforts to address climate change and implement Governor Tony Evers' Executive Order #38 releating to clean energy is Wisconsin. Executive Order #38 calls on state agencies to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Diesel engines emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, as well as black carbon, a compound that is a major contributor to global climate change. Since the transportation sector is responsible for nearly 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions from sources like diesel engines is necessary to effectively address this issue.
Visit our website for a complete list of the funded projects.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funds the projects through the State Clean Diesel Grant Program which is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act. The DNR administers the grant and provides matching funds. The DNR anticipates the next round of State Clean Diesel Grant Program funding in the fall of 2020.