JMU gets $1.84M EPA grant to address air pollution
Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University has received a $1.84 million grant from the EPA to work with UPS on replacing 69 diesel tractor-trailer trucks in the Mid-Atlantic region with trucks that use either cleaner domestically produced compressed natural gas or newer, cleaner diesel engines.
The project, called the Mid-Atlantic Nitrous Oxide Reduction Program (MANOR), will run for two years. UPS has matched the EPA grant with about $8 million.
“They’re substantially committed to this project,” said Matt Wade, deputy director of VCC. “The goal is to assist them with this transition to these cleaner and more affordable fuels thus improving air quality in these highly trafficked interstate and urban areas where they operate.”
The grant will be used to replace trucks operating in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Wade said each truck averages about 92,380 miles per year, which comes to 6,374,220 miles annually for all 69 trucks.
Wade said the project will result in large annual reductions of nitrous oxide (40 tons), particulate matter (200 pounds), hydrocarbons (half a ton), carbon monoxide (two tons) and carbon dioxide (about 5,300 tons). Additionally, fuel reductions through the more fuel-efficient engines and the use of compressed natural gas will displace 468,000 gallons of diesel. “Not only are we cleaning the air, we’re using less imported diesel,” he said.
The grant is the largest Virginia Clean Cities has received from the EPA since opening an office at JMU in 2009, said Alleyn Harned, executive director of VCC.
“I am thrilled to congratulate Virginia Clean Cities at JMU on this much-deserved funding, which will go toward supporting their work to reduce our Commonwealth’s carbon footprint,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner. “These funds will help replace diesel trucks with more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly alternatives in an effort to address the climate crisis.”
Sen. Tim Kaine said, “I’m pleased to see this effort to address pollution and invest in clean air. This project will help protect our environment for future generations of Virginians.”