PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Department of Environmental Management D(EM) will receive more than $846,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to eradicate diesel-burning engines, with the goal of improving air quality statewide.
The funding comes from the Diesel Emission Reduction Act Program, which is a federal-state initiative run by EPA and other state environmental agencies.
“Rhode Island is a national leader in clean energy innovation and this EPA grant will further our Administration’s goal of slashing greenhouse gases as we put Rhode Island on a more sustainable pathway to a future of net-zero emissions,” Gov. Dan McKee said.
The money will be used to replace freight trucks and marine engines that move goods and services across the state and non-road port cargo-handling equipment serving the Port of Providence, according to the DEM.
DEM Director Terry Gray said human health, the environment and climate change are all impacted by diesel emissions.
“We have to continue to strategically target and reduce diesel emissions whenever and wherever we can — especially with the Act on Climate emissions mandates always on our minds,” Gray said.
Gray said the funding will allow them “to invest in cleaner engines and keep the local economy working while better protecting the health of vulnerable Rhode Islanders.”
The DEM said diesel engines and vehicles make up about a third of all transportation in the United States. Diesel is also the main fuel used to ship goods and move freight across the country, the agency noted.