November 4, 2019. The city of Phoenix Public Works Department recently was awarded $1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace some of the department’s diesel-fueled trucks.
The grant money will be combined with matching funds of $2.1 million from Phoenix Public Works and its private partner, Mr. Bults Inc., to purchase nine new solid waste collection trucks and one long-haul truck fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) to replace old, diesel-fueled vehicles.
The DERA grant is a huge assist to Phoenix’s diesel truck replacement program, which has a primary objective of improving the environmental health of Phoenix through the use of alternative-fuel vehicles with low harmful emissions.
“Vehicles are the number one producer of emissions in our city. These emissions degrade the Valley’s air quality and negatively impact our residents’ health and well-being,” said Phoenix mayor, Kate Gallego. “Phoenix is working to mitigate the harmful effects of vehicle emissions by expanding our public transportation options and investing in alternative-fuel vehicles for city services.”
Phoenix Public Works already has replaced 135 of its 250 diesel-fueled collection trucks with CNG-fueled ones. The program to transition to CNG-fueled trucks began in 2010 as a pilot. By 2013, the department made it a policy to purchase CNG-powered trucks moving forward.
“Through the DERA Program and our private partner, Phoenix is making big strides in removing some of the least efficient diesel fueled vehicles and replacing them with lower emission and electric vehicles,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chair, Transportation, Infrastructure and Innovation Subcommittee. “In addition to cost efficiencies, this technology will deliver significant reductions in emissions resulting in cleaner air for our residents.”
Phoenix Public Works is responsible for the collection of trash and recycling from approximately 400,000 households weekly. One of the department’s immediate goals is to have a total of 152 trucks running on CNG by the end of 2019. Its long-range plan is to fuel 97.5% of its 250 solid waste trucks with CNG by 2024, as part of department’s commitment to sustainability through environmentally-conscious practices.