The Missouri Department received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for $1.87 million in federal funds. The funding comes under the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. The Air Program submitted three applications under this competitive grant and two of the applications received partial funding. The combined project, known as the Missouri Green Fleet Project, will target three areas of the state including St. Louis, Kansas City and Southwest Missouri. Three different organizations were awarded subgrants to implement the project in their respective areas of the state.

The projects included focus on school bus retrofits and replacements, but also include retrofits for trash trucks and switch engine locomotives. Many of the projects focus on diesel engine idle reduction technology. Idling diesel engines not only emits unnecessary harmful pollutants into the ambient air, but also wastes fuel and increase engine wear. By eliminating unnecessary diesel engine idling, this project will improve air quality, conserve diesel fuel and reduce operating costs for the fleet owners included in the project.

In the Kansas City area, one of the projects was for numerous switch engine locomotives to be retrofitted with automatic engine shutdown startup devices. Locomotives operate in areas of extremely disproportionately high levels of diesel emissions. Many rail yards are also located in highly populated areas and are near or in environmental justice communities. Reducing the emissions in and around these yards will dramatically reduce the public’s exposure to diesel exhaust. Automatic engine shutdown startup devices on locomotives can not only reduce emissions, but also lower operating costs. This idle reduction technology will result in the conservation of diesel fuel, which will make the facilities operation more sustainable, thus decreasing America’s dependency on foreign oil. For more information about EPA verified idle reduction technology for medium and heavy duty diesel fleets, see EPA’s verified idle reduction technology list.

The estimated projected annual and lifetime emission reductions and fuel savings from all projects implemented under the Missouri Green Fleet National DERA Program can be seen in the table below, along with the estimated annual monetary health benefits attributed to the project.  The projected emission reductions, fuel savings and health benefits were calculated using the EPA Diesel Emissions Quantifier.

Missouri Green Fleet National DERA Project Emission Results and Health Benefits

  NO PM HC CO CO2 Diesel Fuel (Gallons)
Annual Reductions (tons/year) 351.76 7.63 18.53 59.71 979.78 92,469
Lifetime Reductions (tons) 3,704.09 82.33 188.45 608.31 15,842.45 1,515,448
Annual Monetary Health Benefits Based Solely on PM2.5 Reductions: $6,255,450

Below is a summary of the specific projects expected to be implemented in each of the three areas of the state. Additionally, the subgrantee organizations implementing and overseeing the projects in each area of the state are listed below.

St. Louis area

St. Louis Regional Clean Cities received a subgrant from the Air Program to implement and oversee the project. St. Louis Regional Clean Cities is an agency dedicated to promoting air quality and the use of alternative fuels in the St. Louis region. The table below summarizes the project to be implemented in the St. Louis area.

St. Louis Area Project Summary

Fleet Owner Type of Vehicle Number of Vehicles Retrofit Technology
Hazelwood School District School Bus 100 Direct Fired Heater
Mehlville School District School Bus 64 Direct Fired Heater
Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC) School Bus 80 Direct Fired Heater
Special School District of St. Louis County School Bus 49 Direct Fired Heater

The Mid-America Regional Council received a subgrant from the Air Program to implement and oversee the project. Mid-America Regional Council is a regional metropolitan planning agency covering the Kansas City area. This council promotes economic development, transportation and environmental quality throughout the region. In 2009, Mid-America Regional Council received a grant to fund the Regional Air Quality Public Education Program. This program serves to educate Kansas City area residents about protecting air quality and has been instrumental in developing and maintaining the Regional Clean Air Action Plan which promotes voluntary measures that citizens can take every day to reduce their impact on air quality. The data collection assistance that Mid-America Regional Council provides to the state and local air programs assures that relevant and quality assured data is available to regional air quality planners. The table below summarizes the project to be implemented in the Kansas City area.

Kansas City Area Project Summary

Fleet Owner Type of Vehicle/Equipment Number of Vehicles/Equipment Retrofit Technology
Lee’s Summit School District School Bus 32 Direct Fired Heater
Independence School District School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Independence School District School Bus 41 Direct Fired Heater
Grain Valley School District School Bus 25 Direct Fired Heater
Blue Springs School District School Bus 32 Direct Fired Heater
First Student Kansas City School Bus 24 Direct Fired Heater
First Student Parkville School Bus 24 Direct Fired Heater
Liberty School District School Bus 33 Direct Fired Heater
BNSF Railways Switch Locomotive 8 Automatic Engine Shutdown/Startup Device

Southwest Missouri area

The Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University received a subgrant from the Air Program to implement and oversee the project. The Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University will be implementing the grant on behalf of the Ozark Clean Air Alliance.

The Ozark Clean Air Alliance is a partnership between multiple stakeholders, which promotes air quality throughout 15 counties in southwest Missouri. Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University received a grant in 2009 to provide pollution prevention technical assistance and environmental and sustainability awareness to businesses, organizations, local governments and the general public throughout Missouri's Ozarks region. The purpose of the center is to help organizations identify and implement pollution prevention opportunities to reduce pollution and operational costs. The table below summarizes the project to be implemented in the southwest Missouri area. 

Springfield/Southwest Missouri Area Project Summary

Fleet Owner Type of Vehicle Number of Vehicles Retrofit Technology
Springfield Public Schools School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Springfield Public Schools School Bus 66 Direct Fired Heater
Ash Grove School District School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Ash Grove School District School Bus 4 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst
Chadwick School District School Bus 2 Early Replacement (Propane Buses)
Marionville School District School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Logan-Rogersville School District School Bus 2 Early Replacement
Hollister School District School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Hollister School District School Bus 3 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst
Hollister School District School Bus 3 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst and Direct Fired Heater
Hollister School District School Bus 12 Direct Fired Heater
Greenfield School District School Bus 2 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst
Dallas County School District School Bus 13 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst and Direct Fired Heater
Dallas County School District School Bus 7 Direct Fired Heater
Fair Grove School District School Bus 14 Direct Fired Heater
Cassville School District School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Aurora School District School Bus 1 Early Replacement
Branson School District School Bus 9 Direct Fired Heater
Moore’s Trash Service Refuse Hauler 1 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst
Automated Waste Services Refuse hauler 3 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst
Lebanon School District School Bus 15 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst
MoDOT Southwest District Dump  Truck 12 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst

The Air Program is committed to reducing diesel emissions in Missouri. Diesel emissions contain Oxides of Nitrogen as well as Volatile Organic Compounds, which in the presence of sunlight; react to form ground-level ozone. Ozone is known to cause and aggravate respiratory diseases such as asthma. Missouri currently has several areas in the state that are violating or approaching a violation of EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone, which is set to establish limits on ground level ozone concentrations that will protect public health.

Diesel emissions also contain fine particulate matter, which can penetrate deep into people’s lungs past their natural defenses. This can lead to a variety of different lung and respiratory disease including lung cancer. Reducing diesel emissions, particularly in areas with disproportionately high concentrations of air pollutants is vital to the Air Program’s mission of protecting public health.

Many of the fleet owners included in the project have already procured their equipment and some have begun to purchase and to install the equipment on their fleets. Each of the three subgrantees included in the project have detailed information about the project in each of their respective areas of the state listed on their websites. This project is expected to result in numerous public health and economic benefits. Sept. 30, 2012 is the official end date for this grant.