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6/18/2016 Legislation that helps local truckers and combats climate change passes General Assembly in budget
STATE HOUSE – With the passage of the FY 2017 state budget, the General Assembly has approved legislation 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.  The budget article was originally introduced as legislation (2016-S 3057aa / 2016-H 8270) sponsored by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) and Rep. David A. Coughlin (D-Dist. 60, Pawtucket).

“As green technologies progress, it is crucial that we as a state adapt and employ these same technologies in the name of fighting climate change.  An added benefit is that often these same technologies produce tremendous cost savings as well,” said Senator Gallo.  “The purpose of this legislation is to help defray some of the up-front costs needed to use these technologies in the name of preserving our precious environment.”

“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.  

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903