$1.1 Million to Upgrade Diesel Vehicles in Minnesota

Environmental Initiative’s Project Green Fleet is currently accepting applications to connect fleet owners with this funding opportunity. Application materials are due Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is offering a 1.1 million-dollar grant opportunity for eligible projects in Minnesota to replace or retrofit older, off-road diesel equipment with newer machinery. Applications will be submitted to the MPCA by the deadline of Sept. 18, 2020. Grant funds will be available to selected fleet owners in late 2020/early 2021.

Eligible Equipment

  • Heavy-duty, off-road diesel equipment (including but not limited to excavators, loaders, backhoes, rail, marine, trailer refrigeration units, terminal tractors/drayage trucks.)
  • Engines must operate 500+ hr/year or 1,000+ hr/year for locomotives and marine.
  • Current off-road equipment must be Tier 0-II (replacement equipment must be Tier IV.)
  • Current equipment must be fully operational, be in current and regular service, and have remaining operational life of at least three years.
  • New equipment must perform the same or similar function as equipment being replaced.
  • New equipment horsepower must not exceed 25% of current equipment.
  • New equipment must operate in Minnesota for at least five years post-project completion.

Priority Projects

Eligible replacement or retrofit projects being prioritized in the grant opportunity include:

  • Equipment operating in goods movement facilities such as:
    • Ports.
    • Airports.
    • Rail yards.
    • Terminals.
    • Distribution centers.
  • Equipment operating in Anoka, Carlton, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, St. Louis, Scott and Washington counties.
  • Equipment operating in areas of Environmental Justice concern for air quality.

Application Materials

Environmental Initiative will work with fleet owners to prepare application materials.

  • At least two (2) detailed cost estimates for the proposed vehicle replacement or engine upgrade project.
  • Information on the old vehicle to be replaced or upgraded and the new vehicle or upgrade (spreadsheet to be provided by EI):
    • Vehicle type, make, model and year.
    • VIN number.
    • Engine serial number.
    • Fuel type.
    • Horsepower.
    • Annual miles driven, including idling.
    • Annual usage hours.

Terms and Conditions

Selected projects are subject to the following the terms and conditions of the grant award:

  • No exchange of money can take place towards the purchase of replacement equipment until an Operating Agreement is signed between Environmental Initiative and the Fleet Owner (however, the old vehicle that has been selected for funding can continue to operate, up until the time the fleet owner takes possession of the new equipment)
  • The old equipment must be scrapped or rendered permanently disabled within 90 days of being replaced
  • Documentation of the destruction of the vehicle and/or engine must be provided to Environmental Initiative once the destruction is complete. The following steps and materials are required for destruction:
    • Cut a three-inch by three-inch hole in the engine block (the part of the engine containing the cylinders.)
    • Disable the chassis by cutting through the frame/frame rails on each side at a point located between the front and rear axles.
    • Complete and sign a Certificate of Destruction (to be provided.)
    • Obtain a Certificate of Conformity for the new or upgraded equipment from the manufacturer.
    • Take and provide digital photos or video documentation of the engine tag (showing serial number, engine family number, and engine model year), the destroyed engine block, and cut frame rails or other cut structural components as applicable.
  • The vehicle and/or engine that is destroyed MUST be the same as that in the original application. If a different vehicle and/or engine is destroyed in place of the one in the original application without prior approval from the MPCA and EPA, the project will become ineligible for funding.
  • Vehicle/equipment components that are not part of the engine or chassis may be salvaged from the unit being replaced (e.g. plow blades, shovel, seats, tires and more).


Eligible Projects Grant Funding Limits Minimum Mandatory Cost Share
(Fleet Owner Contribution)
Exhaust control retrofit 100% 0%
Engine upgrade/remanufacture 40% 60%
Locomotive idle reduction 40% 60%
Marine shore power 25% 75%
Engine replacement – diesel or alternative fuel 40% 60%
Engine replacement – zero emission 60% 40%
Vehicle replacement – diesel or alternative fuel 25% 75%
Vehicle replacement – zero emission 45% 55%
Vehicle replacement – drayage 50% 50%