The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the launch of a grant funding, aiming to modernize the US’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. The Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) foresees the award of at least $11 million grant to eligible applicants.
The agency informs that is soliciting proposals nationwide for projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure and encourages applications from fleets in areas designated as having poor air quality, as diesel-powered engines move approximately 90 percent of the country’s freight tonnage, and nearly all highway freight trucks, locomotives, and commercial marine vessels are powered by diesel engines.
“DERA is a bipartisan program to help fleet companies improve regional air quality, proving that good environmental policy can go hand in hand with good business,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
Eligible applicants for the grants include regional, state, local and tribal agencies, and port authorities with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality.
Since the first year of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded nearly 690 grants across the U.S. Many of these projects fund cleaner diesel engines that operate in economically disadvantaged communities, whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart and lung disease.