FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Three Northwest and Tribal Entities will be awarded a significant grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A total of 1.6 million dollars has been distributed between two tribes in Washington, and the Tanana Chiefs Conference here locally, as part of a federal initiative to reduce emissions.
The 'Diesel Emissions Reductions Act', or 'DERA' grant awarded to TCC is just under 500 thousand dollars, and will be directed toward replacing older diesel engines and generators. Both Beaver Village and Stevens Village, located in the Yukon Koyukuk census area, will receive the funds.
Project Manager for TCC, Dave Messier, told us how this opened-ended grant was paired with a specific work plan, based on needs in these communities.
He said, "Two of our communities Beaver and Stevens Village have expressed a need to decrease diesel emissions and upgrade their generators so this funding came available and we were able to pair it with some money from the VW Settlement. And so the money that we are receiving from the EPA, will be added to about a hundred thousand dollars we are receiving from the Denali Commission through the Alaska Energy Authority. And that will be used to replace three stationary diesel generators in the community of Beaver and Four Stationary diesel generators in the community of Stevens village."
Messier says their goal for the communities is to reduce emissions and diesel consumption by burning fewer gallons, which will also lower the cost of fuel to the villages.