Governor DeWine, Ohio EPA Announce $7.5 Million in Grants to Improve Air Quality


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson announced that $7.5 million in grants will be awarded to seven entities to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment.

Nitrogen oxide emissions are significant contributors to ground-level ozone pollution.

“By replacing older diesel equipment with new, cleaner models, we will reduce pollution and help make a healthier environment for everyone,” said Governor DeWine. “This is a great opportunity to improve local air quality and I encourage governments and businesses that are running aging diesel equipment in urban areas to consider applying for a grant next year.”

Ohio EPA estimates this year’s grants will remove 33 tons of nitrogen oxide and 16 tons of other air pollutants annually.

“We are leveraging these funds to help address large emission sources of nitrogen oxide, like locomotives and diesel cargo handling equipment, resulting in a significant reduction in pollutants, especially in urban areas,” said Director Stevenson.

Award recipients are:

  • Lazer Spot Incorporated, Delaware County, $1.06 million for 60 percent of the cost to replace six 2003-2009 diesel-powered terminal tractors with six new all-electric models;
  • Logistec USA Incorporated, Cuyahoga County, $324,663 for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 2001 diesel-powered heavy-duty forklift with one new all-electric heavy-duty forklift;
  • Metalico Youngstown, Incorporated, Trumbull County, is receiving two grants. One grant will provide $102,534 for 25 percent of the cost to replace one 1953 diesel-powered freight switcher locomotive with one new diesel-powered freight switcher. The second grant will provide $375,908 for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 1998 diesel-powered material handler with one new all-electric model;
  • Newburgh & South Shore Railroad, Cuyahoga County, $1.8 million for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 1971 diesel-powered freight switcher with one new all-electric freight switcher locomotive;
  • Performance Food Group, Incorporated, Hamilton County, $256,575 for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 2009 diesel-powered terminal tractor with one new all-electric model;
  • Rail Management Services, LLC, Franklin County, $1.2 million for 70 percent of the cost to replace six 2011-2014 diesel-powered terminal tractors with six new all-electric models;
  • Spirongo Lordstown, LLC, Trumbull County, $2.3 million for 69 percent of the cost to replace two 1952 and 1956 diesel-powered freight switcher locomotives with two new all-electric freight models.

The grants are funded from dollars allocated to Ohio from the settlement of an enforcement action taken against Volkswagen and its affiliated companies by U.S. EPA and the state of California for violations under the Clean Air Act. The grant program is investing $75 million over 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution in Ohio. This is the fourth year for the program. Selection considerations were given for specifically targeted reduction categories (e.g., locomotives, airport ground-support equipment, and port cargo handling equipment) that would produce the largest reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions for the grant dollars invested.

During his time as Attorney General, Governor DeWine, along with other state attorneys general, worked to ensure that states would receive their share of funding from the settlement. The trust agreement requires each state to develop a plan identifying how funding will be allocated to 10 allowable uses that can reduce nitrogen oxide emissions and offset damages. Eligible projects include replacement or engine repowers of the following: aging diesel trucks; school, shuttle, and transit buses; ferries and tugboats; switcher locomotives; airport ground support equipment; forklifts; and cargo handling equipment in ports. Funds also may be used to install shore power for ocean-going vessels in Great Lakes ports and charging or fueling units for light duty zero-emission vehicles. Ohio EPA has offered three rounds of grant opportunities to replace aging diesel engine fleets.

The organizations and businesses receiving grants were selected by a committee of Ohio EPA and Ohio Department of Transportation representatives.

The next opportunity to submit grant applications online is June 6-Aug. 5, 2022. Ohio EPA has posted a copy of the state’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan for spending these funds on the Agency’s VW program web page.