Trumbull County Companies Secure $2.7 Million in EPA Grants

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two Trumbull County companies were awarded more than $2.7 million from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to fund upgrades intended to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel vehicles.

Spirongo Lordstown LLC secured a $2.3 million grant to cover 69% of the cost to replace two 1952 and 1956 diesel-powered freight switcher locomotives with two new all-electric models.

The company owns and operates the Ohio Commerce Center, a complex that leases space to a variety of businesses representing different industries. The site consists of 10 miles of track and 12 rail spurs. 

A second company, Metalico Youngstown Inc.’s Girard operation, received two grants totaling $478,442 to upgrade equipment.  One grant provides $102,534, or 25%, toward replacing one 1953 diesel-powered freight switcher locomotive with a new diesel-powered unit.  A second award of $375,908 covers 75% of the cost to replace a 1998 diesel-powered material handler with an all-new electric model. 

The awards represent a portion of $7.5 million in grants that the Ohio EPA distributed to seven recipients. The others receiving grant money are:

  • Lazer Spot Inc.Delaware County, $1.06 million for 60 percent of the cost to replace six 2003-2009 diesel-powered terminal tractors with six new all-electric models;
  • Logistec USA Inc., Cuyahoga County, $324,663 for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 2001 diesel-powered heavy duty forklift with one new all-electric heavy-duty forklift;
  • Newburgh & South Shore Railroad, Cuyahoga County, $1.8 million for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 1971 diesel-powered freight switcher with one new all-electric freight switcher locomotive;
  • Performance Food Group, Inc., Hamilton County, $256,575 for 75 percent of the cost to replace one 2009 diesel-powered terminal tractor with one new all-electric model;
  • Rail Management Services, LLC, Franklin County, $1.2 million for 70 percent of the cost to replace six 2011-2014 diesel-powered terminal tractors with six new all-electric models.

“By replacing older diesel equipment with new, cleaner models, we will reduce pollution and help make a healthier environment for everyone,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to improve local air quality and I encourage governments and businesses that are running aging diesel equipment in urban areas to consider applying for a grant next year.”

Ohio EPA estimates this year’s grants will remove 33 tons of nitrogen oxide and 16 tons of other air pollutants annually. 

“We are leveraging these funds to help address large emission sources of nitrogen oxide, like locomotives and diesel cargo handling equipment, resulting in a significant reduction in pollutants, especially in urban areas,” Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson added.

The grants are funded from dollars allocated to Ohio from the settlement of an enforcement action taken against Volkswagen and its affiliated companies by U.S. EPA and the state of California for violations under the Clean Air Act. The grant program is investing $75 million over 10 years to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution in Ohio. This is the fourth year for the program. Selection considerations were given for specifically targeted reduction categories – locomotives, airport ground-support equipment, and port cargo handling equipment, for example – that would produce the largest reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions for the grant dollars invested.

Pictured: Metalico purchased this auto shredder yard in Girard for $13.2 million in January 2021.

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