The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently announced the availability of approximately $40 million in nationwide grants for modernizing diesel fleets. The grants are funded through the Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA), which promotes upgrading or replacing diesel vehicles with cleaner, more fuel-efficient engines.

“These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA will continue to target funds to areas facing significant air quality issues.”

According to a statement from EPA, 90 percent of the country’s freight tonnage is transported by diesel-powered vehicles.

Grant applicants from Washington can seek up to $900,000 from the EPA Pacific Northwest Region 10 office. EPA expects to award between 20 and 80 total grants.

Those eligible to receive funding include regional, state, local, or tribal agencies, port authorities, and any nonprofits that promote transportation or air quality, that work to reduce pollution, or that provide educational services to diesel fleet owners. Priority will be given to agencies that operate fleets in regions with poor air quality, and to projects that aim to engage local communities in their efforts to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Applications are due no later than June 12, 2018.