Benton County has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and be net-zero by 2050. (Photo by gchutka/Getty Images via Canva)

Federal funding of $1.512 million has been awarded to the Oregon Department of Transportation for the Benton Area Transit Fleet Replacement project, Benton County reported.

U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden of Oregon announced the secured funding for essential community projects across the state in Congress’s fiscal year 2023 omnibus appropriations package. The Benton Area Transit Fleet Replacement project was among those included.

“In February 2020, Benton County established an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% of 2010 levels by 2030, and be net-zero by 2050,” Benton County Commissioner Nancy Wyse said through a news release, which also included a thank you to Merkley and Wyden. “This investment will allow for more county-operated vehicles to be electric and provide safe and reliable public transportation to the entire community. It will also help to develop an infrastructure for electric vehicle charging that supports the use of environmentally friendly vehicles in our county.”

With the support of members of Oregon’s congressional delegation in the House of Representatives — Reps. Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader — a total of 145 community-initiated projects in Oregon were included in the package.

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