The City Commission accepted a $1.441 million grant award from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Fuel Transformation Program and Volkswagen State Mitigation Trust for City fleet vehicle replacement. The grant will allow the Facilities and Fleet Management Department to replace 12 vehicles with greener vehicles, including units powered by CNG. The new fleet will help the city reduce diesel emissions, NOx, particulate matter and improve air quality within Grand Rapids. The expected annual reduction of 91.5 metric tons of greenhouse gases is equivalent to removing 19.9 passenger cars from service.
Prior to fall 2023, six pre-2008 diesel dump trucks with underbody scrapers will be replaced with six new, more efficient diesel dump trucks; two diesel broom-type right-side sweepers will be replaced with a CNG sweeper and a hybrid electric/CNG sweeper; and four diesel refuse trucks will be replaced with four CNG refuse trucks.
Per grant requirement, all vehicles being replaced must be decommissioned and destroyed to a point where each can never be put back into operations again. All these older vehicles were scheduled to be replaced as a part of the city’s current asset management plan. With the new purchases, the city’s eco-friendly fleet will be enhanced to include seven electric, six hybrid/electric, 77 hybrid/gas and nine CNG vehicles.
“Air pollution from diesel emissions has negative effects on human health and the environment,” Annabelle Wilkinson, environmental and climate justice specialist, said. “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.”
“The new diesel vehicles will reduce fuel consumption and emissions,” Steve Prins, acting director of facilities and fleet management, said. “These along with the new CNG refuse trucks and hybrid sweeper will help reduce the city’s carbon footprint, improve air quality, and mitigate climate change. We believe that this grant will help us achieve our sustainability goals and improve the wellbeing of our residents.”
Source: City of Grand Rapids