EPW Approves Carper Bills to Strengthen Environmental Programs

Legislation to reauthorize DERA, establish Delaware River Basin Restoration Program approved with broad bipartisan support

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statements to highlight two pieces of legislation that were approved by the committee during its business meeting today.

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2016, approved by voice vote, would reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act retrofit grant program at the Environmental Protection Agency through 2021, at $100 million annually.

“The toxic exhaust emitted from dirty, old diesel engines is harmful to our public health and our environment,” Senator Carper said. “The Diesel Emission Reduction Act uses federal dollars to leverage state and private resources to generate national investments in diesel retrofit technology. This program provides enormous environmental and public health benefits, and by creating a higher demand for clean diesel technology, it also helps to create American jobs.In fact, since its implementation, DERA has become one of the most cost-effective federal programs to clean up our air. I thank my colleagues for supporting this common-sense investment in our nation’s public health, environment and economy, and I’ll to work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that DERA receives the federal resources it needs to be successful.”

The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2015, approved by voice vote, would establish the Delaware River Basin Restoration Program within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The program would implement a coordinated approach, requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director to adopt a basin-wide plan that sustains and enhances the Delaware River basin restoration and protection efforts. The program would support projects from federal, state, and local governments and stakeholders, ensuring that existing successful restoration plans are leveraged.

“The Delaware River Basin is an ecological and economic powerhouse for Delaware and our neighboring states. The basin is a vital watershed that contributes $25 billion to our region’s economy and fuels our local communities by supporting jobs in the maritime, agriculture, tourism, hunting, fishing and wildlife industries. This bill would improve coordination among federal, state and local partners who work to protect and preserve the basin, and ensure that partners can work together to protect the health of this vital resource for generations to come.”