The North Central Texas Council of Governments is partnering with Cascade Sierra Solutions to open the region's first Freight Efficiency Outreach Center, designed to give the trucking industry  education and programs to improve efficiency, save money and reduce its impact on regional air quality.

The new center is funded with a nearly half-million dollar grant from the Environmental Protection Agency and almost a quarter million dollars from CSS.

CSS is an Oregon-based nonprofit organization founded in 2007, dedicated to financing, identifying, and promoting the use of clean technologies to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution from heavy-duty diesel trucks. It has several outreach centers located on Interstate 5, the primary West Coast freight corridor, and clients located throughout all 48 continental states.

At the new Dallas center, located in southern part of the city off the LBJ Freeway, fleet managers and owner-operators can investigate available grants, programs and financing options that may improve their business practices.

The CSS center will serve as a "one-stop shop" promoting fuel efficiency in the trucking industry, providing technical assistance and information about best practices to truck operators and showcasing low-emission vehicles and EPA-approved technologies.

As part of its ongoing effort to improve regional air quality, NCTCOG provides information about federal, state and local programs that help public and private operators purchase cleaner, more efficient vehicles and equipment.

Ten Dallas-Fort Worth area counties  are in nonattainment for the pollutant ozone and have until 2018 to meet the EPA standard.

Since its founding, Cascade Sierra Solutions has upgraded or replaced more than 12,000 vehicles and saved operators more than 55 million gallons of diesel fuel while eliminating 1,900 metric tons of nitrogen oxides, a major contributor to ground level smog. It has also made available $60 million in grant funding and $50 million in financing.

NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in regional planning.

Related Story: All That's Trucking Blog -- Exactly what is Cascade Sierra Solutions?