News Release 241
Gov. Nixon announced Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions received $412,441 in Recovery Act funding to create and retain jobs, reduce diesel emissions and protect air quality in southwest Missouri
Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University accepting project proposals
Volume 37-241 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 7, 2009 -- Gov. Jay Nixon announced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $412,441 subgrant to Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University. The organization will use the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding to reduce diesel emissions and protect air quality by implementing the state's clean diesel program in Southwest Missouri.
Reducing diesel emissions, which contain fine particulates as well as other components that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, is an important step toward protecting public health in Missouri. Diesel emissions are known to cause and exacerbate lung and respiratory diseases such as asthma. Reducing these emissions in Southwest Missouri will benefit the public and improve air quality in an area where monitoring values are extremely close to violating the recently revised eight-hour ozone standard that was set by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008, and continues to see the suburban areas around it growing rapidly, contributing to additional air quality problems.
Under this award, the Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University will provide equal funding amounts to public and private diesel fleet owners and operators. Both the public and private diesel fleet owners and operators will be able to use this funding to purchase and install EPA or California Air Resources Board verified emission-reduction technologies, idle reduction technologies, SmartWay technologies, engine upgrades, fuel conversion kits and/or engine replacements. The funding may also be used to partially fund the early replacement of older more polluting vehicles or equipment with new cleaner operating vehicles or equipment.
"The Department expects these projects to have numerous benefits to air quality and the economy," said Department of Natural Resources Director Mark N. Templeton.
The over-the-road trucking business will also be eligible to receive funding that will improve fuel economy and reduce the state's use of diesel fuel. This will in turn reduce fuel costs and decrease the price per mile that truckers have to pay to do business.
The Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University is currently soliciting requests for proposals. All proposals that have eligible project vehicles located in an eligible county requesting funds will have an equal opportunity to receive funds through a lottery process, which is expected to be held in October.
Counties eligible for funding in the Southwest Missouri area will include: Cedar, Polk, Dallas, Barton, Dade, Greene, Webster, Christian, Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Lawrence, Barry, Stone and Taney. Examples of eligible public fleets include school districts, city or state-owned vehicles/equipment and school buses or refuse haulers that have a contract with a school district or city. Public fleets will have less stringent matching requirements. Eligible private fleets include, but are not limited to, construction equipment, over-the-road trucks and delivery trucks.
Those interested in applying for the funding may submit a request for proposal to the Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University, 900 N. Benton Ave., Springfield, MO 65802 or call 417-873-7641 or visit the Web at www.showmecleanair.com.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $300 million nationwide for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act or DERA program. All 50 states and the District of Columbia applied for this funding. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency divided the funding into equal portions giving Missouri $1.73 million.
The Department of Natural Resources will divide the noncompetitive DERA funding evenly among the four regions in the state that have monitored values at or above the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone. Those four regions include: St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Southeast Missouri.
For more information on the DERA projects in Missouri, contact the Department of Natural Resources' Air Pollution Control Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-4817 or visit www.transform.mo.gov/resources/dnr.htm.