New EPA Report Highlights Success of Diesel Emissions Reduction Program

More than 50,000 older diesel-powered engines were upgraded or replaced between 2008 and 2010 because of Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) funding, which resulted in major clean air benefits and fuel savings, according a new report, “Second Report to Congress: Highlights of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program,” issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The results outlined in this report demonstrate that the clean diesel retrofit program (DERA) is one the nation’s rarest and best examples of a program that actually works, delivering big and real benefits in fuel savings and cleaner air to all 50 states, said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

More than 203,000 tons of NOx, 12,500 tons of particulate matter (PM) and 2.3 million tons of CO2 was reduced, while 63 million gallons of fuel was saved due to DERA projects funded through fiscal years 2008 through 2010, according to the April 2013 EPA report.

“DERA has proven consistently that relatively small public investments can be leveraged with significant private sector matching funds that together result in major cost-effective emissions reductions and fuel savings,” Schaeffer said.

According to the report, every $1 in public funds appropriated through the DERA program is leveraged with an additional $3 in non-federal funds including significant private sector investments that result in $7 to $18 in benefits to the public.”

Despite Success, DERA’s Future Remains Uncertain

“Despite these tremendous accomplishments, future federal funding for the DERA program remains uncertain,” Schaeffer said. “State and local clean air regulators have relied on DERA funding as a key tool to help move communities toward compliance as new and more stringent clean air requirements for Ozone and PM are set to take effect.”

Schaeffer highlighted some significant features of the report:

• DERA received almost $470 million through annual appropriations and “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” (ARRA) funds between 2008 and 2010;

  • · More than 52,000 pieces of older diesel powered equipment across all regions of the country and in various applications were retrofitted, repowered or replaced;
  • · Popularity for the program was extremely high with requests exceeding available funding by a 7 to 1 ratio;
  • · School buses and long haul trucks accounted for approximately 78 percent of the projects for a total of just under 40,000 pieces of equipment;
  • · Construction and agricultural equipment, refuse haulers, delivery trucks and transit buses were also represented in the projects that received funding;
  • · The DERA program also helped develop financing tools to leverage private sector funds and bring to market innovative new clean air and fuel savings technologies.
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