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newsrel -- ARB helps California logging business get the keys to a cleaner-running vehicle Posted: 19 May 2011 13:53:59
Loan assistance program and local grants are now available. Release #:11-19 Date:05/19/2011 ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990 CONTACT: Mary Fricke 916-322-2638 firstname.lastname@example.org ARB helps California logging business get the keys to a cleaner-running vehicle Loan assistance program and local grants are now available SACRAMENTO - Today the California Air Resources Board handed the keys for a clean-running piece of machinery to a small-business owner to kick off a new loan program to help other small businesses in California purchase cleaner off-road equipment. The loan assistance program, a joint program between ARB and the State Treasurer’s Office of California Capital Access Program, or CalCAP, uses federal money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and can also draw on funding from local air districts. "ARB’s loan guarantee program, now expanded to include off-road equipment, is not only for the construction business, but also for agriculture, mining and industrial sectors of the California diesel fleets. Some of the fleets may also be able to combine the loan program with local grants to help them with the purchase of cleaner equipment," said Assistant Division Chief Erik White. "Owners of off-road vehicles are driving away with more modern, cleaner-running equipment and Californians are getting the public health benefit of cleaner air to breathe." With the help of the loan program and a grant from the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, Amanda Godon of Volcano Enterprises Inc., a small California-based logging business, replaced a high-polluting engine, with a cleaner Tier 3 engine. “The process of getting the financing for the replacement skidder was fast and simple,” said Godon. “Clean air is very important and we are trying to replace our whole fleet with better air quality in mind.” The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act award provided $5 million to the loan assistance program to reduce harmful diesel emissions by helping off-road vehicle owners upgrade or replace their older vehicles. The program provides competitive-rate loan opportunities in today's tight credit market to small businesses. Off-road fleets of any size may qualify if they are small businesses with 500 or fewer employees, have annual revenues and business generated primarily in California, with the majority of the employees living in California. “This program is an excellent example of local, state and federal governments working harmoniously to solve our most pressing air pollution problems,” said Ben Machol, Chief of the Clean Energy and Climate Change Office at EPA's Pacific Southwest Region "We are proud to contribute federal Recovery Act funding to help improve public health while strengthening the local economy.” Off-road equipment owners can apply for loans at participating financial institutions to finance new vehicles, engine exhaust retrofits, or engine upgrades. Projected installation and extended warranty expenses, or maintenance costs for exhaust retrofits, may also be financed. For a list of participating financial institutions, go to: http://www.treasurer.ca.gov/cpcfa/calcap/contributor/offroad_lenders.pdf Borrowers, like the owners of Volcano Enterprises Inc., may also be eligible for local grant awards which can be combined with a CalCAP loan to purchase cleaner equipment. ARB’s loan assistance programs are part of the state's overall plan to cut toxic diesel emissions 85 percent by 2020. In December, ARB adopted a statewide clean off-road diesel vehicle regulation to bring California closer to meeting federally-mandated air-quality standards and deadlines. For additional program information about the loan assistance program, air quality grants or the off-road diesel vehicle regulation, go to http://www.arb.ca.gov or call the ARB’s diesel hotline at 1-866-6DIESEL (1-866-634-3735). Additional photos and B-roll are available upon request 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.