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GR to purchase 12 new diesel, compressed natural gas fleet vehicles with help from $1.4M state grant COURTESY PHOTO

GR to purchase 12 new diesel, compressed natural gas fleet vehicles with help from $1.4M state grant

BY Wednesday, November 17, 2021 01:16pm

GRAND RAPIDS — City officials will leverage more than $1.4 million in state grant funding to buy 12 new diesel- and compressed natural gas-powered fleet vehicles as part of a climate action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Grand Rapids City Commission at its Tuesday meeting formally accepted the grant, which comes from Volkswagen settlement funding directed to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

The city’s Facilities and Fleet Management Department will replace 12 fleet vehicles with newer diesel and compressed natural gas models that will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate matter.

“Air pollution from diesel emissions has negative effects on human health and the environment,” Grand Rapids Environmental and Climate Justice Specialist Annabelle Wilinson said in a statement. “Diesel emissions can impact respiratory, cardiovascular and neurological systems. It also harms wildlife and the environment by contributing to the formation of smog, acid rain and ground level ozone which can cause considerable damage to plants, agricultural crops, animals, habitat and ecosystems.”

By the fall of 2023, the city will replace six pre-2008 diesel dump trucks with more efficient diesel models. The city will also replace two sweeper trucks and four garbage trucks with compressed natural gas models. The older vehicles will be destroyed, per state grant requirements. 

With the new purchases, Grand Rapids will have seven electric, six hybrid electric, 77 hybrid/gas and nine compressed natural gas vehicles in its fleet.

The state grant will cover about 40 percent of the cost of the new vehicles, while the city’s match will not exceed roughly $2.3 million.

The city has tracked the Facilities and Fleet Management Department’s operational emissions since 2008 and the department is in the final stages of creating its first emission-reduction targets. 

In 2020, the city’s fleet fuel consumption accounted for 11 percent of the total emissions from municipal operations, according to city officials. The city’s fleet was the second-largest source of emissions in 2020 behind electricity consumption.  

Read 1308 times Last modified on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 13:41