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AUSTIN — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced July 10 that it has $18 million in grants available to eligible businesses, governmental entities, school districts and individuals to replace older medium-duty or heavy-duty gasoline or diesel vehicles with natural gas vehicles, or repower the vehicles with natural gas engines.

Applicants must apply for the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program grants through a participating dealer. A list of participating dealers is available on the Texas Emission Reductions Plan website.

The predetermined grant amounts are to reimburse between 60 and 90 percent of the incremental cost of the natural gas vehicles and engines, and are based on the fuel capacity, usage, and weight class of the grant-funded vehicles. Grant applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.

Projects must result in at least a 25 percent reduction of emissions of nitrogen oxides, and grant recipients must commit to operate the grant-funded vehicles in the eligible counties for at least 75 percent of the annual mileage for four years, or 400,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Applications will be accepted until May 31, 2013, or until all funding is awarded, whichever comes first.

For up-to-date program information and eligibility requirements, contact a participating dealer.

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