A nonprofit company whose mission was to reduce diesel exhaust from heavy-trucks is no more following a federal audit and financial problems.
Cascade Sierra Solutions is winding down operations owing $19 million to banks and other creditors, after it took in more than $60 million from various government agencies along with private money, according to The Register Guard newspaper in Eugene, Ore. A receiver has been appointed.
Founded in 2006, the Oregon-based company served as a bridge between truck owners and government agencies to arrange grants or low-interet loans for truck owners to purchase "green" equipment. The money was for anti-idling devices such as auxiliary power units and shore power connections, as well as diesel particulate filters and other emissions technology.
Cascade Sierra Solutions also partnered with various companies offering products and services designed to help reduce truck emissions, including Shorepower Technologies, which offers at electrical power for trucks at more than 50 truckstops.
Shorepower Technologies Vice President of Marketing, Alan Bates, told Truckinginfo.com that it partnered with Cascade Sierra Solutions in 2009 to successfully deploy its Truck Stop Electrification Network using government money.
“In the DOE grant, CSS was the program administrator, with Shorepower handling equipment, construction, operations and maintenance,” he said. “Going forward, Shorepower will continue to operate the network with no anticipated disruptions. In fact, the company is seeking to expand the network."
The beginning of the end for Cascade Sierra Solutions reportedly began during the Great Recession, as truck owners defaulted on loans. The situation was made worse two years ago following an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency audit, which found fault with the company’s accounting and recommended that the federal government seek the return of a $9 million grant, according to the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem, Ore. The government also said the nonprofit agency was unable to show that it was spending the public dollars in an allowed way.
At its peak Cascade Sierra Solutions employed nearly 60 people and helped upgrade some 12,000 trucks.
Founder Sharon Banks, whose background includes work as an air-quality regulator in Lane County, Ore., reportedly made more than $200,000 per year as Cascade Sierra Solutions president before leaving the company nearly a year ago, due to what she said were health problems.
7/11/2012 -- Driving the Green Revolution