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EPA Announces Nearly $1 Billion in Grants to Invest in America's Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Transition

Updated: Apr 25

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced the launch of the nearly $1 billion Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program to fund the replacement of certain polluting heavy-duty vehicles with zero-emission vehicles. 

Funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, EPA will award competitive grants for projects that will:

  • reduce climate and air pollution from heavy-duty vehicles

  • support good-paying jobs and

  • improve air quality for communities across the country, particularly those overburdened by air pollutio

The 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program will support the adoption and deployment of eligible zero-emission vehicles while also funding zero-emission vehicle fueling infrastructure and workforce development and training. 

Across the nation, more than 3 million such vehicles are currently in use, spanning a wide variety of vehicle types and vocations, including school buses, refuse haulers, and utility and delivery trucks.

The Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program will help advance the Justice40 Initiative, which sets the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments in climate, clean energy, and other areas flow to disadvantaged communities overburdened by pollution, including air pollution.  

Most of the vehicles eligible for replacement are powered by internal combustion engines that pre-date recent EPA emission standards. These vehicles emit harmful pollutants like nitrogen oxide, fine particulate matter, and greenhouse gasses. 

Pollution from these vehicles is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, among other serious health problems. Children, older adults, those with preexisting cardiopulmonary disease, and those of lower socioeconomic status are particularly vulnerable and are at a higher risk for these health impacts.

The implementation of the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program is designed to help applicants across the country transition to zero-emission vehicles and reduce air pollution, which will result in improved health outcomes, less noise pollution, and the creation of good-paying clean energy jobs.

To meet the needs of diverse potential recipients and encourage participation in this grant opportunity, EPA is providing two separate sub-program competitions under this single Notice of Funding Opportunity:

  • The School Bus Sub-Program for applicants replacing school buses.

  • The Vocational Vehicles Sub-Program for applicants replacing non-school bus Class 6 and 7 vehicles – including box trucks, refuse haulers, dump trucks, street sweepers, delivery trucks, bucket trucks, and utility trucks.

EPA anticipates approximately:

  • 70% of available funding will be for projects under the School Bus Sub-Program and 

  • approximately 30% of available funding will be for projects under the Vocational Vehicles Sub-Program.

Eligible applicants for both competitions include States, municipalities (including school districts), Indian Tribes, territories, and nonprofit school transportation associations. 

Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act statute requires that at least $400 million of the program's funding go to projects that will serve one or more communities dealing with significant pollution as defined by EPA's National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

This funding opportunity builds on the success of previous programs implemented by EPA, including the historic Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, which reduces harmful emissions from older diesel engines, and the Clean School Bus Program, which funds clean and electric school buses under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

Additionally, EPA recently announced the launch of the $3 billion Clean Ports Program to help tackle emissions from ports, including the movement of heavy-duty vehicles both in and out of communities surrounding U.S. ports.

“This is such welcome news,” GASP Executive Director Patrick Campbell said. “We know the transportation sector is the single-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and a leading source of health-harming air pollution. This investment is part of a paradigm shift that prioritizes our environment and public health and GASP is here for it.”

The deadline to apply for the 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program is July 25, 2024. EPA expects to announce awards by the end of this year.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the program, eligibility, selection process, and informational webinar dates, please visit the Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program webpage.

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