EPA opens applications for DERA grants, drastically cuts emissions reduction program to $9 million

Updated May 5, 2014

EPAGovernment fleets will have to make due with drastically reduced funding for diesel emissions reduction grants, as the Environmental Protection Agency has only set aside $9 million this year as opposed to $20 million last year.

Starting today, the EPA is accepting applications for its latest round of Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA) grants, part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign.

DERA is a program that provides grants to qualified fleet owners to help defray the costs of retrofitting fleets with diesel emissions reduction technology. To qualify a fleet must be owned by a school district, municipality, metropolitan planning organization, county, tribal agency or nonprofit institution or organization.

The DERA budget cuts come despite the fact that the Diesel Technology Forum claims that DERA’s emissions reductions in the past have generated $13 in benefits for every $1 invested.

Recipients of the grants typically use them to purchase retrofit diesel particulate filters, engine repowers and replacements, idle reduction technologies, low rolling resistance tires and other aerodynamic technologies for older, high-pollution equipment and vehicles.

The EPA estimates that the addition of a DOC to a diesel engine can reduce  particulate matter emissions by up to 20 percent and costs about $2,500.

Instructions and forms for application can be found here. Deadline for applying is Tuesday, June 17th. Awarding of grants will be announced in September.