Morenci takes advantage of 'clean diesel' initiative 2012.09.12

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Some areas of Michigan have a problem with dirty air and efforts are underway to make it cleaner. In rural areas such as Morenci, the air is clean and people want to keep it that way.

The City of Morenci is doing its part by joining in the state’s Clean Diesel Grant Program. Morenci now has a new dump truck—bought at half price through the grant—that’s burning cleaner and more efficiently than the nearly 30-year-old model it replaced.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said when he first became aware of the grant opportunity, he thought about using it to replace the Department of Public Works backhoe. He and deputy clerk Leasa Slocum attended a workshop in Lansing to learn details about the program and he decided to apply for funding to replace the older dump truck, also.

“We didn’t get it for the backhoe since the truck was older,” Vanderpool said.

The new diesel replaces a 1984 Ford truck that was still functioning, but not as efficiently and cleanly as the 2013 International.

“That’s what the grant was for,” Vanderpool said, “to get those old ones off the road.”

They’re not just off the road—they’re gone, never to return. The grant requires total decommissioning of old units.

“We drained fluids, drilled holes in the block and cut the frame in two,” Vanderpool said. 

After that it was sold for scrap.

Vanderpool said the unit came in $17,000 below budget, with a total price of $130,200. The City matched the 50 percent grant.

Vanderpool obtained price quotes for the chassis, box and snow plow, then Slocum handled the remainder of the project by filling out forms, communicating with officials from the Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Diesel Grant Program, and using the EPA’s “quantifier program” to determine the expected reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxide (leading to high ozone levels), particulate matter, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Slocum will also track fuel consumed by the new truck. Using that data with the reductions in emissions, the overall effectiveness of the project will be determined.

A system will be set up to track emissions from all city-owned vehicles to help with decisions for additional clean diesel projects. The City does have some other older equipment that might qualify for the program, Vanderpool said, and he expects to take another look at Clean Diesel Grant opportunities in a couple of years.

Changes in diesel

The words “clean” and “diesel” were never paired in years past, but changes in fuel and in engine technology have changed that.

Since 2006, refineries have produced ultra-low-sulfur-diesel (ULSD) that cut sulfur dioxide levels dramatically. In addition, the fuel doesn’t clog up emissions control devices and allows additional cleaning. Several emission scrubbing processes are part of Morenci’s new truck.

Health concerns from diesel emissions can be a problem particularly for children, outdoor workers, the elderly and those with respiratory disease.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016