DERA vehicles

2021 DERA Request for Proposals Now Open

The North Carolina Division of Air Quality will be accepting proposals to fund clean diesel projects beginning at 9:00 am September 15, 2021 through the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s Grant Management System.  Approximately $861,000 is available for eligible projects through the Mobile Source Diesel Emission Reduction Grant program.  The grants can be used to cover a wide range of projects including repowering non-road construction or agricultural equipment with cleaner burning engines, converting vehicles to run on alternative fuels and replacing older diesel vehicles or eligible equipment with new cleaner vehicles or equipment.  

Businesses and organizations from the public and private sector are eligible to apply. The division will prioritize funding for non-road equipment projects, but proposals for on-road and other eligible projects will be considered if funding is available. 

Applications must be submitted through the North Carolina Division of Air Quality’s Grant Management System no later than 11:59 pm Eastern Time on November 30, 2021 to be considered.  More information on eligible projects and application instructions is available online at

The 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant program is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. The purpose of DERA funding is to support projects designed to achieve significant diesel emissions reductions.

NC DAQ held a question and answer session on September 22, 2021  and October 27, 2021 to assist with the application process for this year’s grant.  The question and answer session provided information on eligibility and how to request access, log into and use the Division of Air Quality’s Grant Management System.  If you have any questions that you would specifically like to have addressed, please email them to

For information on the WebEx webinar and a link to view a recording, visit:

For more information about the Mobile Sources Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant program, please visit the state Division of Air Quality’s website at: or via e-mail at

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Fall 2021 CCFC Intern Position Now Open!

C CFC is pleased to share the launch of the Fall 2021 term of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program (CCUWDP). This fall, CCUWDP is offering 50 workforce development program positions across the nation and applications are now available.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students looking to gain experience in the energy and transportation areas. Please pass this information along to anyone you know who may be interested in one of these positions. Applications can be found at with more information below. Applications are due September 2, 2021. If you have any questions, please email

Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program Fall 2021

The Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program is an initiative of Clean Cities, a government-industry partnership sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program. Clean Cities strives to reduce petroleum consumption in the transportation sector in nearly 100 communities across the country. Since the creation of the CCUWDP in 2010, Clean Cities has hosted more than 500 interns in more than 75 Coalitions.

The Clean Cities internship will give students studying communications, public relations, business, marketing, engineering or environmental sciences, the opportunity to grow public awareness and expand the markets of advanced vehicle technologies, alternative fuels, and practices that reduce the consumption of petroleum. Students have participated in research, outreach activities, public education, K-12 outreach, fleet events, and a vast array of transportation-related environmental projects.

This internship will interest students with backgrounds in marketing, business, writing, public administration, and similar.

Specific Details:

  • Up to 50 internships available at competitively-selected U.S. Clean Cities Coalition locations working with dynamic Clean Cities coordinators and their stakeholders
  • Positions are 15 or 20 hours per week (determined by the Coalition) for 14 weeks
  • Internship dates: approximately September 16, 2020 through December 23, 2020. Exact start/end dates determined by individual coalitions
  • Stipends range from $2,520 – $4,200 depending on academic classification and number of hours assigned by the coalition.
  • Many past internships have led to permanent positions!     
  • Applications are due September 2, 2021.

To submit your resume and complete the online application, please click here. If selected, interns will be notified by September 15, 2020.

Questions? Email:

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GRADE logo

Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Vehicles (GRADE)

In 2007, Mecklenburg County Air Quality launched an innovated air quality improvement program called Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines or GRADE. GRADE is designed to reduce oxides of nitrogen (NOx), an ozone forming air pollutant, by providing businesses and organizations funding incentives to replace or repower heavy-duty non-road equipment with newer, cleaner, less polluting engines.

Since its inception, GRADE has funded over 318 projects and awarded $6.6 million. These projects have reduced over 1,059 tons of ozone-forming NOx in the Charlotte region. Watch the award-winning GRADE video for more information.
Seeking Electrification Projects
Please contact PJ McKenzie at 704-336-5430 if you are interested in pursuing the following types of projects:
  • Replacing old, diesel ground-support equipment (GSE) with new, fully electric GSE;
  • Replacing a diesel terminal tractor/yard hostler with a fully electric version; or
  • Adding a hybrid drive system to your Class 7/8 semi-truck, capable of hauling a full load up to 25+ mph without burning diesel.
For more information, visit Mecklenburg County LUESA GRADE. The video below is courtesy of their program and features one of the GRADE projects. 

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VW Settlement Phase 2 Webinar Recording & Comment Links

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality invites public comment on the state’s plan to invest $67 million in Volkswagen Settlement funds. The Draft Phase 2 Mitigation plan focuses on efforts to reduce pollution impacts while incentivizing zero emission vehicles and increasing outreach to under-resourced communities.
The funds represent North Carolina’s share of the $2.9 billion federal settlement with Volkswagen due to its misrepresentation of diesel emission standards in certain vehicles. Governor Roy Cooper designated the Division of Air Quality as the lead agency to manage the project in November 2017. Wilmington Trust officially designed North Carolina as a State Beneficiary in January 2018.
In Phase 1 of the program, North Carolina awarded nearly $27 million to replace 111 school buses and 16 transit buses and to install 33 zero emission vehicle (ZEV) fast charging stations and 78 Level 2 charging stations across the state.
The Division of Air Quality held a series of public information sessions to explain the draft plan. Members of the public and entities interested in receiving funds for eligible projects are encouraged to review the recording and submit questions:
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesday, July 14: Western NC Region
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 14: Centralina/Triad Region-link to recorded webinar is here.
  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Wednesday, July 21: Triangle Region
  • 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 21: Coastal NC Region
The Division of Air Quality will also hold a series of in-person public information sessions for counties eligible in the Historically Under-Resourced Counties Outreach Program. Additional meeting dates, locations and times will be posted on the DEQ Volkswagen Program webpage.
Comments may be submitted online via Microsoft Forms at or emailed to Voicemail comments will also be accepted at 919-707-8429. All comments will be accepted until September 7, 2021 at 5 p.m.
Additional information regarding Phase 2 can be found on

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Economic Impact Analysis of Clean Energy Development in NC-2021 Report

The NC Sustainable Energy Association has just released their biennial Economic Impact Analysis of Clean Energy Development in North Carolina Report

RTI International conducted the report to identify associated economic impacts of clean energy development (renewable energy and energy efficiency) in North Carolina and identified that, from 2007-2020, the total economic impact of clean energy and energy efficiency project development in the state was $40.3 billion, with 17 percent of the cumulative clean energy investment over the last 14 years occurring in 2019 and 2020.

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