$1 million in stimulus grants available for local diesel equipment owners

Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines+ (GRADE+) will assist businesses in the Charlotte region with replacing their heavy-duty diesel equipment, vehicles or engines. More than 100,000 pieces of equipment in the 13-county region that straddles North and South Carolina are eligible to participate in this $1 million grant opportunity. GRADE+ grants are an excellent opportunity for participants to reduce maintenance costs, increase fuel efficiency and extend the life of their equipment while breathing easier financially with assistance from stimulus funds.
Past GRADE+ grant recipients include Baucom Service Inc., Blythe Development Co., Bruce R. Jenkins and Associates, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, City of Gastonia, Culp Brothers Inc., Duke Energy, Gaston County Solid Waste, Hoopaugh Grading Co., McWhirter Grading Co., Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services, Okuma America Corp., Piedmont Airlines, Radco Construction Services, TRANSFLO Terminal Services Inc. and US Airways.
By repowering or replacing old diesel engines that are certified by the EPA to meet a more stringent emission standard, Mecklenburg County Air Quality anticipates achieving more than 166 tons of nitrogen oxide (“NOx,” an ozone-forming pollutant) reductions in the 13-county region over the next five years. In 2004, EPA designated the eight-county Charlotte-metro region a nonattainment area for ozone and imposed a 2010 deadline for the region to come into compliance.

“Reducing NOx is an essential part of controlling ground-level ozone in our region,” said Leslie Rhodes, Mobile Source program manager for Mecklenburg County Air Quality. “Projects like those funded by GRADE+ help us maintain progress toward attainment of National Ambient Air Quality Standards by limiting and reducing emissions,” Rhodes said.

Eligible equipment types include: off-road diesel equipment such as bulldozers, loaders, graders and agricultural tractors; on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles such as dump trucks, haul trucks and refuse trucks; and stationary diesel equipment such as generators and pumps.

To find out more or to apply, go to www.GRADEplus.net. Applications will be accepted through October 31.

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