— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces a first-of-its kind initiative to demonstrate innovative idle reduction technologies along the spectrum of the trucking industry, from the manufacturer level to trucking fleets and at truck stops, ports, and borders.EPA will award up to $5 million in grants as part of its SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary, government-industry initiative aimed at reducing emissions and conserving energy. The deadline is June 6. "In a time of rising gas prices, this grant program will conserve fuel while reducing emissions and improving the quality of a truck driver's rest," said Margo Oge, Director, Office of Transportation and Air Quality.Recognizing that truck drivers idle to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the sleeper compartment, EPA's grant program will study how a variety of idle reduction technologies in different applications will perform. The grants will be available to states, nonprofits, and academic institutions demonstrating strong partnerships, among other criteria, with the trucking industry. EPA is requesting proposals for initiatives to deploy and demonstrate three kinds of commercially available technologies:Technologies that small trucking fleets can use to equip trucks they already own;
Technologies that can be packaged by truck engine manufacturers into an easily-used installation kit for aftermarket use; and
Technologies designed for use by trucks parked at truck stops, terminals, ports, and borders.
The full proposal solicitation is available at http://www.epa.gov/air/grants/05-09.pdf. The deadline for receipt of proposals is June 6, 2005. EPA anticipates announcing the grant awards in Fall 2005. For more information on the SmartWay Transport Program go to: www.epa.gov/smartway/.