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December 19, 2019   |

Press Release

Bipartisan Appropriations Support for Successful Clean Air Program Will Accelerate Emissions Reductions in Key Communities


WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - A diverse coalition representing 20 manufacturers, transportation associations, and clean air and health advocates today, applauded Congress for providing robust funding for one of the most successful clean air programs – the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).

The spending package passed by Congress appropriates $87 million in funding for DERA in Fiscal Year 2020. The DERA program is widely considered one of the federal government’s most cost-effective clean air programs. In its fourth report to Congress, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates approximately $19 billion in health benefits have been gained from the investment of $629 million in DERA between 2008 and 2016. The program has upgraded nearly 67,300 heavy-duty vehicles or pieces of off-road equipment, saved more than 454 million gallons of fuel, and reduced 15,490 tons of particulate matter (PM) and 472,700 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOX). The novel program achieves these benefits by requiring significant non-federal matching funds for projects seeking funding.

NEW DERA Infographic

DERA has continually received overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support. No other clean air program covering mobile sources of emissions can deliver such substantial, cost-effective, and immediate term benefits. The EPA estimates every $1 in federal assistance is met with another $3 in non-federal matching funds, including significant investments from the private sector, and generates $5 to $21 in health and economic benefits. Moreover, every state benefits from DERA as 30 percent of the funding goes to support individual state programs.

DERA is one of the most cost-effective programs that is needed to incentivize owners of older heavy-duty trucks, buses, and equipment to replace, repower, or retrofit with new verified emissions control technologies. The program is still required as roughly 60 percent of heavy-trucks on the road today are of older generations without the benefit of new emissions control technology that is now standard on 2007 and later model year trucks. The population of heavy-duty off-road equipment and machines also benefits from DERA funding particularly as it often has longer service lives than commercial vehicles, resulting in in higher lifetime emissions.

Through funding these improvements, the DERA program improves air quality at the nation’s schools, construction sites, highways, railyards, and ports. The program is voluntary and has adopted many cost saving administrative practices, such as the inclusion of a rebate program applicable to school buses and construction equipment that speeds the delivery of program funds with a minimum amount of red tape. The program effectively cleans our air and underpins employment in innovative industries.

 

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