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US to increase DERA funding for clean diesel projects

18 December 2014

The federal budget package approved by the US House and Senate includes a 50% increase in funding for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), according to the Diesel Technology Forum.

Under the adopted budget package, funding for DERA—a clean air program to reduce emissions from older, in-use diesel engines, vehicles and equipment—will increase from $20 million to $30 million if signed into law by President Obama.

“The Diesel Emission Reduction Act has been one of the most successful clean air programs in recent years,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “Every one dollar in federal assistance under the DERA program has been coupled with another $3 in non-federal matching funds to generate significant air quality improvements,” Schaeffer said. “EPA estimates that for every $1 in DERA funding there is another $13 in environmental, health and economic benefits.”

The DERA program—administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—helps the owners of older diesel vehicles and equipment with various types of equipment upgrades to lower emissions. In the earlier years of the program, DERA grants supported a wide range of retrofit projects with diesel particulate filters and/or diesel oxidation catalysts. More recently, the focus of DERA funding has shifted toward purchases of new technology engines and total vehicle/equipment replacements.

After peaking around 2009, the DERA program has seen steadily decreasing funding levels. $120 million in DERA funds was appropriated for FY 2009-2010, $49.9 million for 2011, $29.9 million for 2012, and approximately $20 million for 2013 and for 2014.

“Congress deserves a lot of credit for preserving the DERA program,” Schaeffer said. “It was due to the leadership of U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and U.S. Representatives Ken Calvert (R-CA), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Grace Meng (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that DERA was funded in the budget package. These Congressional leaders and their colleagues deserve our thanks for this bipartisan effort to secure greater funding to provide clean air benefits throughout the U.S. with advanced clean diesel technology.”

Source: Diesel Technology Forum