Funding Available for Diesel Emissions Reduction
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds.
Diesel-powered engines move approximately 90 percent of the nation’s freight tonnage, and today nearly all highway freight trucks, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels are powered by diesel engines.
“These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA will continue to target funds to areas facing significant air quality issues.”
EPA is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure, especially from fleets operating to move goods in areas designated as having poor air quality. Priority for funding will be given to projects that engage and benefit local communities and applicants that demonstrate their ability to promote and continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.
Eligible applicants include regional, state, local, and tribal agencies and port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality. All those eligible may apply until Tuesday, June 5, 2018.
Under this competition, EPA anticipates awarding between 20 and 80 assistance agreements. Applicants must request funding from the EPA regional office that covers their geographic project location. The maximum amount of federal funding that may be requested by an applicant varies by region.
Since the first year of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded funds to more than 730 projects across the US. Many of these grants funded cleaner diesel engines that operate in economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart and lung disease.
EPA anticipates releasing a separate request for proposals for tribal applicants during 2018.