Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University has received a $1.84 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency 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, according to a press release.
In 2009, Virginia Clean Cities formed a partnership with James Madison University enabling both organizations to leverage resources, current initiatives, and future opportunities. Virginia Clean Cities has an office at James Madison University, and serves as a cornerstone program in the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.
The project, called the Mid-Atlantic Nitrous Oxide Reduction Program, will run for two years. UPS has matched the EPA grant with about $8 million. The grant will be used to replace trucks operating in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Each truck averages about 92,380 miles per year, which comes to 6,374,220 miles annually for all 69 trucks. The project will result in large annual reductions of nitrous oxide, about 40 tons, particulate matter, 200 pounds, hydrocarbons, half a ton, carbon monoxide, 2 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,” said Matt Wade, deputy director with the VCC at JMU.
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 Warner, D-Va., in a press release. “These funds will help replace diesel trucks with more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly alternatives in an effort to address the climate crisis.”