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January 22, 2016

Salt Lake County, Tesoro and Local Businesses Join Forces to Expand the Vehicle Repair Assistance Program and Help Improve Our Air

Pam Davenport - Email

Nicholas Rupp - Email

The Salt Lake County Health Department announced today a new partnership with Tesoro Foundation and local auto repair businesses that will expand the county’s one-year-old Vehicle Repair Assistance Program (VRAP). This expansion will allow more county residents to qualify for the program, which helps improve the air we breathe.

“Air pollution raises significant health concerns, and more than 50 percent of the most dangerous air pollution in our valley is due to vehicle emissions,” said Gary Edwards, executive director of SLCoHD. “A vehicle that fails an emissions inspection can be up to 100 times more polluting than a vehicle that’s operating properly.”

VRAP offers financial assistance to qualifying individuals for the repair of a motor vehicle that does not meet county emissions standards. Qualifying vehicles must meet certain requirements, and vehicle owners receive assistance on a sliding scale based on up to 300% of federal poverty guidelines (see attached fact sheet for specific vehicle and income requirements).

Tesoro Foundation is funding VRAP for 3 years at $100,000 per year; this financial commitment allows Salt Lake County to raise qualifying income limits so more Salt Lake County residents in need can receive assistance.

“At Tesoro, we measure our success not only by the bottom line, but by how well we perform as a socially responsible corporate citizen,” said Brian Sullivan, Tesoro vice president of corporate affairs. “We are committed to collaborating with our stakeholders to create cleaner, safer, well-educated communities where we operate.”

Initially launched in January 2015, the pilot year of VRAP used Salt Lake County’s fleet services division to perform the repair work on all vehicles accepted into the program; now, county officials are expanding VRAP to allow local auto repair businesses to participate.

“Improving the quality of our air takes many different approaches and partnerships. We all need to do our part,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. “Working with private businesses on meaningful solutions is an important step toward clean air along the Wasatch Front.”