First Posted: 8/4/2009
RALEIGH A Surry County company is one of nine recipients of environmental grants totaling $750,000, which will be used to reduce pollution from diesel-powered construction vehicles in North Carolina.
Jim Lynch Grading of Pilot Mountain was awarded a $16,012 grant through funds provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the national Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2008.
The grants cover a range of projects, such as retrofitting construction equipment with controls to curb diesel emissions, repowering off-road equipment with cleaner-burning engines and buying new clean-diesel construction vehicles.
Jim Lynch Grading will conduct an equipment-repowering project using its DERA grant, which was awarded on a competitive basis through a process coordinated by the N.C. Division of Air Quality.
The DERA grants are targeting older off-road construction equipment with diesel engines, which often lack up-to-date air-pollution controls. Older diesel engines add significantly to pollution in North Carolina and other states, officials say.
Off-road mobile sources such as construction equipment contribute about 18 percent of the nitrogen oxides, 16 percent of the volatile organic compounds and five percent of the fine particle pollution in North Carolina.
Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are the main contributors to ozone, which is unhealthy to breathe and is the states most widespread air-quality problem in the summer months. Particle pollution is unhealthy to breathe and contributes to haze.
North Carolina has a number of efforts under way to reduce ozone and particle-forming emissions from industry, power plants and highway vehicles, said Keith Overcash, the director of the Division of Air Quality. These DERA grants will target off-road sources that lack modern emissions controls.
In addition to the Pilot Mountain company, grants were awarded to entities in Clemmons, Hillsborough, Fayetteville, Kannapolis and Dallas. The largest, $372,336 to be used for equipment repowering, was allocated to Hanson Aggregates Southeast LLC, which serves the Triangle, Wilson and Rocky Mount metro areas.