The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the first $3.4 million in funding for clean diesel projects under the $50 million Diesel Emission Reduction Program.
This campaign makes awards to save fuel and lower greenhouse gas and diesel exhaust emissions from the country's existing fleet of 11 million diesel engines.

Three organizations received $3.4 million for small trucking firms to lower fuel costs and shrink their carbon footprints through innovative loans and rebates: the Community Development Transportation Lending Services, Washington, D.C.; Cascade Sierra Solutions, Oregon; and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Missouri. Each organization will get $1.13 million.

The Community Development Transportation Lending Services funds will go for a national low-interest revolving loan fund for the purchase of used trucks that have EPA SmartWay upgrades or will receive SmartWay upgrades.

The Cascade Sierra Solutions funds are for the "Everybody Wins USA Lease Program," where emission reduction and idle reduction technology will be sintalled on 1,700 trucks. Truck owners will lease the equipment, paying $10 for it at the end of the lease period.

The OOIDA program will provide repates to selected truck owners to cover the cost of installing emission reduction or idle reduction technology on their trucks. Each six months, depending on idle/fuel use reductions demonstrated, the truck owner will recieve additional rebates until 40 percent of the total cost of the equipment is paid.

(For contact information on these three programs go to the EPA SmartWay web site.

EPA will also begin disbursing $14.8 million for State Clean Diesel programs. All 50 states will receive funds, and 35 states will put matching resources toward the program. Later this fall, $27.6 million in grants will be distributed by EPA's 10 regional offices. Finally, grant awards for emerging technologies totaling approximately $3.4 million will be announced this winter.