Springfield school bus company, UMass included in state funding to reduce diesel fuel emission

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Three local businesses and one university has received funding from the state to receive new equipment in an effort to reduce the use of diesel vehicles.

The goal of the grants awards across the state is to reduce the release of harmful diesel emission into the atmosphere from vehicles. The funding comes from the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). A total of $2,083,873 in funding will go to 11 communities, including Wilbraham, Springfield, Amherst and Hatfield, to remove older and less efficient diesel vehicles from use.

In western Massachusetts, the following businesses have received funding:

  • F&G, LLC – $13,883: One electric terminal tractor, based in Wilbraham.
  • First Student, Inc. – $740,324: Five electric school buses, based in Springfield.
  • University of Massachusetts-Amherst – $70,583: One Class 6 utility line truck and one Class 7 dump truck with snowplow.
  • USA Waste and Recycling, Inc. – $200,158: Three Class 8 refuse haulers, based in West Hatfield.

“Our administration continues to identify and advance projects that better position the state in combating against the impact of climate change with an equitable approach,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The shift to cleaner vehicles will reduce the exposure of our citizens to diesel emissions, improve air quality, and assist us as we work to meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate goals.”

“Reducing emissions, which not only pollutes our environment, but also threatens the health of residents across the Commonwealth, requires an aggressive approach, and these DERA funds will aid us as we shift towards cleaner technologies,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to watching these projects progress further along and ultimately aiding the Commonwealth on its path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The other communities and businesses that will receive DERA funding are:

  • City of Boston – $350,000: Twelve propane-powered school buses, based in the Dorchester bus yard.
  • City of Newton – $81,250: One front-end loader.
  • Estes Express Lines – $193,416: Eight Class 8 short-haul tractor trailers, based in Avon, Billerica, and Shrewsbury.
  • George Propane, Inc. – $44,213: One Class 7 cab and chassis with a propane cargo tank, based in Goshen.
  • Town of Grafton – $60,205: One Class 8 short-haul tractor trailer.
  • Town of Winchendon – $43,934: One front-end loader.
  • Winchendon Fire Department – $175,904: One Class 8 fire apparatus.

“The Baker-Polito Administration continues to take aggressive action to build a clean, modern transportation system and advance efforts that will help the Commonwealth achieve its ambitious emissions targets,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Working with communities and fleet managers, this funding will help support technology upgrades and switch out existing, polluting vehicles and engines with cleaner replacements.”

It is estimated by the Baker-Polito Administration that the funding from these grants will result in a reduction of 35.4 short tons of Nitrogen Oxide (NO) and 1,580 short tons of CO2, as well as an 87 percent reduction on average of PM2.5.

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