EPA gives MSU million dollar grant

Mississippi State University’s leadership with vehicle technology that promotes air quality, improved fuel economy and emissions reductions will be recognized during a special event on campus Aug. 5.
The Environmental Protection Agency will award the land-grant institution’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems a $1.08 million grant as part of the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program.
The university and its industry partners, Mississippi-based KLLM Transport Services and Dufour Petroleum Inc., will use the funding to install battery air conditioning systems on a minimum of 101 trucks.
The units will reduce diesel emissions significantly by allowing the driver to run air conditioning without idling the vehicle’s engine.
In addition to installing the units on the partners’ fleets, Mississippi State will offer competitive mini-grants for installation of the idle reduction technology for some independent truckers in the state.
“This project is a perfect example of the positive economic and environmental impact that Mississippi State is making in the state and region. We will also have a national impact because of the cross-country routes many of our partners’ trucks drive,” said Michael Mazzola, the associate director for advanced vehicle systems at CAVS and the principal investigator on the EPA grant.
The award announcement will take place at 10 a.m. at the CAVS building in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, which is adjacent to the Starkville campus. University officials, industry executives and representatives from the EPA and the Mississippi Development Authority will be on hand for the announcement.
Additionally, long-haul trucks will be available in the CAVS parking lot and high bay for viewing and demonstrations of the battery air conditioning systems.