The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of up to $9 million through the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program (DERA) for Fiscal Year 2013 for new projects to reduce emissions from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines.
The DERA program has significantly improved air quality and provided critical health benefits by reducing air pollution and saving millions of gallons of fuel. Diesel pollution is linked to a range of serious health problems including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments, and premature death. EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates up to $13 of public health benefit for every $1 spent on diesel projects.
States, tribes, local governments, and non-profits are eligible to apply for DERA grants. Projects can reduce air pollution from older school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and other diesel engines. The projects will help achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution reduced and reductions in diesel emissions exposure, particularly from fleets operating in poor air quality areas. The closing date for receipt of proposals is June 25, 2013.
Since the first year of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded over 500 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. From FY 2008-2010, grantees took steps to retrofit, replace or repower more than 50,000 vehicles and equipment in a variety of industries and these projects reduced emissions by at least 203,900 tons of NOX and 12,500 tons of PM over the lifetime of the engines. As a result of these reductions, EPA estimates that the health benefits associated with up to 1,400 fewer premature deaths and fewer hospital visits, among other impacts, will total between $3.4 billion and $8.2 billion.