The Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently took delivery of seven Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles that were purchased using a $197,550 grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.
The CMAQ funding is U.S. Department of Transportation money that comes through the state of North Carolina and was allocated by the Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council and Southwestern Commission.
The goal of the CMAQ Program is to reduce air emissions in counties where air quality is in non-attainment of EPA Clean Air Act standards. The portions of Swain and Haywood counties that lie within Great Smoky Mountains National Park are both in non-attainment due to elevated levels of ground-level ozone.
With the addition of these new Escape Hybrids the park now has 16 hybrid vehicles in service.