The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $4.1 million to the South Coast Air Quality Management District to improve air quality in the Los Angeles area, it was announced Thursday.

The grant supports state and local efforts to reduce smog and soot emissions from diesel trucks, EPA said.

“A significant amount of the air pollution in the South Coast Air Basin comes from vehicles and commercial medium- and heavy-duty trucks,” said John Busterud, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This grant will help our partners in Southern California continue to improve air quality in communities affected by air pollution.”

EPA’s funds will be combined with support from other sources for a total of nearly $12.5 million, to deploy 15 medium-duty and 20 heavy-duty, zero-emission battery-electric trucks. The funding will also support charging infrastructure for the trucks, a key element of the project. Compared to similar diesel trucks, the 35 battery-electric trucks are estimated to reduce emissions of ozone precursors by 19.5 tons and PM2.5 by 1.2 tons. Additionally, the 35 electric trucks will conserve more than 2.8 million gallons of diesel fuel over their service life, according to EPA.

“These funds will go a long way toward accelerating the transition to zero emissions for one of our region’s largest polluters — the medium- and heavy-duty truck sector,” said South Coast AQMD’s Executive Officer Wayne Nastri. “The more diesel fleets that make the switch to battery electric trucks, the faster we can bring clean air to Angelenos.”

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