PRESS RELEASE: Rep. Coughlin bill that helps local truckers and combats climate change heard in committee
STATE HOUSE – Rep. David A. Coughlin testified before the House Finance Committee last night in favor of legislation (2016-H 8270) he introduced that establishes the Rhode Island Clean Diesel Fund which will save local trucking companies money in freight operation costs while also protecting our environment from needless and harmful diesel emissions.
“This is a win-win bill for both the environment and our local trucking companies,” said Representative Coughlin (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket). “It’s modeled after the federal SmartWay program, which has seen tremendous cost-savings for participating companies as well as sincere benefits to our environment by reducing emissions from the heavy-duty diesel truck engines of the past. I introduced this legislation to protect our precious environment while also helping our local companies achieve much needed operational savings through state of the art efficiency technologies.”
The Clean Diesel Fund will solicit projects that undertake eligible clean diesel measures on local freight trucks and award grants through the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to reimburse applicants for undertaking these environmentally friendly measures.
Eligible projects under the act include instituting aerodynamic technologies, clean alternative fuel conversions on existing vehicles, installing low rolling resistance tires, entire vehicle replacements, and refrigeration upgrades or total replacements.
In order to qualify for funding through the program, equipment must be certified by DEM for on-road use, the vehicle must be registered and garaged in Rhode Island, and the vehicle must be in use on Rhode Island roads for at least 50 percent of the time for at least five years following the grant award.
Safeguards within the legislation stipulate that DEM can only issue grants for up to 50 percent of the total project cost and no one applicant can be awarded more than 25 percent of the grant funds during a single fiscal year. This bill follows Representative Coughlin’s legislation (2016-H 7538) that was recently signed into law by Governor Gina M. Raimondo which amends the Crime Victims Compensation Fund to include Rhode Island citizens who are victims of terrorism outside the state borders.
For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903