Iowa municipalities and business owners can help cut air pollution and get paid for it. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is offering grants through the Iowa RIDE program — for Reduce Iowa’s Diesel Exhaust. Catherine Fitzsimmons is chief of the D.N.R’s Air Quality Bureau.
The program is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and involves just over one-and-a-half million dollars to hand out to folks who reduce vehicle emissions. Fitzsimmons says RIDE is what’s known as a cost repayment program.
"You need to spend the money up-front," she says. "Do something to reduce vehicle emissions, perhaps replace an old diesel generator, even replace an old tractor that has high emissions of diesel exhaust. If you apply to us in advance and we award you the grant, we will pay you back after you’ve accomplished that."
Fitzsimmons says exhaust from diesel engines is an issue for all of Iowa, adding, diesel exhaust contains fine particles, nearly 40 air toxics and greenhouse gases. "Fine particles are actually a problem across most of the state," she says. "Those emissions can come from diesel vehicles, any other type of engines that burn fuel, large power plants, large industrial sources, but even small sources in your community like local gas stations have some emissions."
The deadline to apply for a grant is June 29th. Learn more about the program and apply online at: www.iowacleanair.com .