The Houston-Galveston Area Council received the funds from EPA's SmartWay Funding Opportunity Program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to develop and administer a Clean Truck Program.Î¾ Gina McCarthy with the Environmental Protection Agency says the funds will provide a "bridge loan" for the difference between the actual cost of a new vehicle and the incentive grant.
"On behalf of President Obama and EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, I'm pleased to announce that EPA is awarding $9 million to Houston-Galveston Area Council to establish a revolving loan program that will reduce diesel emissions from port drayage trucks.Î¾ Protecting health, human health and the environment is a great way to put people to work and a great way to stimulate our economy.Î¾ And that's what this $9 million is about."
Drayage trucks are vehicles that transport containers from the port.Î¾ McCarthy explains the financing scheme.
"What it actually does is provide seed money for loans that help trucking firms purchase cleaner equipment.Î¾ And this $9 million will provide seed money for loans that will help these smaller companies do what they want to do, that they couldn't otherwise afford.Î¾ But the great thing is that when they start to paying back those loans, we get to do it all again!Î¾ This money will keep growing and growing in a way that, I think, the citizens of the United States want their federal government to invest money."
McCarthy says clean diesel funds can generate up to $13 of public health benefit for every dollar spent.Î¾
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.