Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Accepts EPA Grants to Purchase Lower Emission Vehicles

March 18, 2022

Mayetta, KAN (March 18, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (PBPN) selected for award of a $489,155 grant to establish lower-emission diesel projects to upgrade their municipal fleet. The Tribal Nation plans to replace two, inefficient larger engine vehicles; a Road and Bridge, short-haul dump truck; and a fire department water tanker.

This grant comes as part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction (DERA) program, which funds projects to clean up the nation’s legacy fleet of diesel engines. The DERA program prioritizes projects Helping to achieve the goals of President Biden’s Justice40 initiative, which aims to ensure federal agencies deliver at least 40% of benefits from certain investments to underserved communities.

PBPN also received a grant from the Volkswagen Clean Air Act Civil Settlement funding which is the result of alleged Clean Air Act violations by Volkswagen. Overall Volkswagen paid $15.4 billion with over $50 million earmarked for Tribes. The funds are intended to mitigate emissions through the replacement of older diesel engines and/or installation of electrified parking spaces. PBPN successfully applied for $147,168 in VW funding and it will be utilized to replace an aged vacuum pump truck and also contribute to the Road & Bridge truck replacement.

Older diesel engines emit more air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, than newer diesel engines. These pollutants are linked to a range of serious health problems, including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments, and premature death.

“With the combined DERA and VW funding of $636,323 we will replace two diesel vehicles and subsidize the replacement of a third vehicle. These changes will help us do our part to reduce emissions from vehicles used regularly. Grants like these, align with our goals as being responsible custodians of our environment.” Prairie Band Potawatomi Chairman Joseph Rupnick, said.