A new Air District grant program opens up grants for smaller heavy-duty truck businesses that may have not qualified for previous funding assistance. Applications will be taken beginning April 16. “This program addresses a significant number of trucking operations in the Valley that, because of their size, were unable to be funded through other programs. We are very pleased to offer this community much-needed assistance,” said Samir Sheikh, the Air District’s grants program director, in a news release Through the Heavy Duty Truck Voucher program, the District will contract with truck dealerships, which will offset the cost of new trucks to purchasers with the funding. Dealerships will assist applicants with the application process and all related requirements, including eligibility verification, truck inspections and submitting applications to the District. Dealerships are also responsible for delivering old vehicles to dismantlers. Eligible vehicles must be model year 2002 or older for replacement and 2000-2006 for retrofits, and meet additional criteria including current and historical California registration, and minimum mileage thresholds for the past two years. Up to 25 percent of the purchase price of the new truck will be provided, to a maximum of $40,000, if the truck meets 2007 emission standard. Up to 35 percent of the new truck will be funded, to a maximum of $50,000, if it meets 2010 emissions standards and up to $10,000 for a retrofit. To be eligible for the program, applicants mustBe based in the Valley air basin;Be small businesses as defined by the state of California;Agree to operate the new truck at least 75 percent within California and 50 percent within District boundaries for three years. For more information or to apply, contact the District’s Grants program at 559-230-6000 or visit http://www.valleyair.org/Grant_Programs/GrantPrograms.htm. For more information about the Air District, call a regional office in Fresno (559-230-6000), Modesto (559-557-6400) or Bakersfield (661-392-5500).