Release 09-39
April 24, 2009

    Mary Fricke
ARB approves the distribution of $42 million in AB 118 grants
Air Quality Improvement Program to fund clean engine technologies

SACRAMENTO - Today the Air Resources Board approved $42 million in AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Program projects that will accelerate the commercialization of on-road and off-road clean engine technologies.

Beginning this fall, Californians will be able to use these grants toward the purchase of zero-emission or hybrid engine technologies that they otherwise may not have been able to afford. These technologies will help California meet its long-term air quality and climate change goals.

"These grants will help introduce the next generation of clean vehicles and equipment into California so that we get a step closer to energy efficiency and break away from dependence on oil," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "We'll all enjoy cleaner air and improved health as a result."

All interested Californians can participate in the following funding assistance programs to purchase new commercially available technologies for the 2009-10 fiscal year by contacting ARB. The four projects are:

The Air Quality Improvement Program will also fund demonstration projects that will focus on promising technologies not yet in wide production. The five projects are:

Also approved today were guidelines to delineate how ARB will run this new financial assistance program to ensure efficiency and public input. The guidelines establish requirements for such areas as program administration, oversight and accountability, reporting, and procedures for developing project solicitation and project selection.

Governor Schwarzenegger provided funding for alternative fuels and clean vehicle technologies by signing AB 118 into law in October 2007. This week, the California Energy Commission adopted an investment plan that provides $176 million over the next two years to fund programs that promote these new technologies. Smog abatement, vehicle and vessel registration fees will pay for these programs.

The programs will help achieve the objectives of the recently adopted Low Carbon Fuel Standard that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and diversify the state's fuel supply.

Smog has been known to exacerbate a variety of cardiovascular and respiratory conditions such as heart disease and asthma, and diesel particulate matter was listed as toxic in 1998.

For more information, please visit /msprog/aqip/aqip.htm

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.