WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released its fifth report to Congress highlighting the results of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Program (DERA). The report includes data collected between 2008 and 2018.
The Diesel Technology Forum praised the results of the report.
“EPA’s fifth report to Congress confirms the enduring value of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act in delivering substantial clean air and climate benefits to communities around the country, and the continuing need,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “As the agency stated in the report, ‘DERA funding has accelerated upgrades and replacements for diesel vehicles and equipment, improving the public and private diesel fleets that are critical to the economy.’”
From 2008-2018, approximately $801 million in funding was appropriated to DERA to replace or retrofit more than 73,700 diesel engines or vehicles.
According to EPA’s calculations of health benefits, diesel emissions reduction projects are cost-effective, with monetized health benefits estimated to exceed federal funding by a factor of 10. EPA estimates that reducing these harmful pollutants will lead to about $8 billion in monetized health benefits, according to the report.
The new generation of advanced diesel technology achieves near zero-emission levels and has been available since 2010 for heavy-duty trucks and since 2014 off-road engines and equipment. DERA addresses the opportunity to modernize and upgrade or replace the previous older generation of diesel engines that have higher emissions and are expected to remainin service for many years to come.
Recent research has shown the distinct benefits of accelerating the turnover of the trucking fleet to newer diesel technology, finding that in 10 northeastern states, along with using renewable biodiesel fuels three times the reductions in greenhouse gases and other emissions at 25% of the cost of a full electrification strategy.
“Thanks to Sen. (Tom) Carper’s leadership and the bipartisan work in both the House and Senate, DERA has proven to be a consistently highly effective program,” Schaeffer said. “It has returned $10 in benefits for every dollar invested. In addition, the program helped reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 491,000 tons and 5.8 million tons of carbon dioxide from 2008 to 2018.”
The bipartisan DERA program was among the first EPA programs to focus on environmental justice considerations, working to deliver clean air benefits to disadvantaged and minority communities. In addition, the program addresses needs from a broad range of vehicles and equipment, from school buses and commercial trucks to marine vessels and locomotives.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law delivered new, substantial, and dedicated funding for school bus electrification and upgrading; $5 billion over five years. The Inflation Reduction Act provides considerable federal tax credits ($40,000 per vehicle) for zero-emission freight vehicles.
To review the EPA report, click here.
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