Environmental Protection

Senate and House Work on Reauthorizing DERA

Passage of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act is being supported by more than 500 environmental, health, industry and government organizations, according to the Diesel Technology Forum.

U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) on Friday introduced the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) companion bill to one passed late last month by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Movement on the reauthorization is being hailed as a major step in continuing “a vital clean air program that has benefited communities in every single state in the nation," according to Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

Senate Bill 3973 is a five-year reauthorization of the program created in 2005 to establish voluntary national and state-level grant and loan programs to reduce diesel emissions by upgrading and modernizing older diesel engines and equipment.

“DERA has helped clean up tens of thousands of diesel engines. It’s been incredibly cost-effective — EPA estimates that every federal dollar invested in DERA translates into at least 13 dollars in health benefits. This cost effectiveness is actually higher thanks to state and local matches that stretch the federal DERA dollars. DERA funds also support new and existing jobs in clean diesel manufacturing, as well as local jobs in installing and maintaining the new diesel technologies," Schaeffer said.

“While it’s been difficult lately to find environmental issues that have near-universal bipartisan support among Democrats and Republicans, DERA has proven to be one program to do so,” he added. “We are hopeful the full Senate and U.S. House will continue this bipartisan effort and reauthorize DERA during the lame duck session.”

DERA funds are used to clean up the nation’s older, dirty diesels, by retrofitting or replacing them with new technologies that significantly reduce the soot and emissions from an estimated 11 million of our oldest diesel trucks, buses, and equipment. Since 2005, the federal government has invested roughly a half-billion dollars through DERA to improve America’s air quality by upgrading and modernizing older diesel engines and equipment through filters and catalysts.

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