Grants to Replace Aging Diesel Engines
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 346 projects and awarded over $7.5 million. These projects have reduced over 1,215 tons of ozone-forming NOx in the Charlotte region. Visit our Interactive GRADE Story Map.
Get Started with GRADE
Complete a 1-page project application that describes both the existing equipment/engine and the desired replacement equipment/engine. (Hint: older, high use equipment tend to make the most competitive projects.) The application period is usually four to eight weeks.
Awards are made by a selection committee who consider factors like the amount of pollution reduced, the cost per pound of pollution reduced, and the amount of time spent in eligible region once a project has been awarded GRADE funding. Each award is followed by a funding agreement that outlines the terms of the grant, such as the amount of the award, eligible expenses, and the disposal of the old equipment. Allows two to three months for awards to be made and funding agreements to be processed.
Once the repower or replacement is complete and the old engine has been disposed of, reimbursements will be made as outlined in the funding agreement. Most funding agreement allow up to six months for the project to be completed and reimbursement paperwork to be submitted.
Semi-annual equipment usage reports should be submitted for five to ten years following project completion and reimbursement. These reports makes it possible to track the amount of pollution reduced by each project.