WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) voted overwhelmingly to advance S. 747, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019, a bill to reauthorize the popular, cost effective DERA program that helps finance the replacement of older diesel engines with cleaner, American-made technology. This legislation would reauthorize DERA through fiscal year 2024 at its current funding levels and ensure equal funding opportunities between both metropolitan centers and less populated, rural areas across the country. Joining Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on EPW and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) as cosponsors of this legislation are EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Senator Carper released the following statement after today’s committee vote:
“Year after year, DERA has cost-effectively reduced air pollution and fueled American job creation,” said Senator Carper. “Boasting $13 of health and economic benefits for every $1 of federal investment, it’s no wonder that DERA enjoys such broad, bipartisan support. With today’s vote, we’re one step closer to making sure this bipartisan tradition, imagined and incepted by my dear friend Senator Voinovich, will continue to boost economic growth and encourage environmental progress. I thank Senators Inhofe, Barrasso and Whitehouse for their continued leadership on this issue, and I urge its swift passage on the Senate floor.”
DERA, first established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, was co-authored by Senator Carper and the late Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio). The DERA program is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and uses federal funding – distributed through grants and rebates – to leverage state and other non-federal funding to finance the voluntary replacement or installation of retrofits on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines. By replacing or upgrading older diesel engines with newer American-made technology, the DERA program will continue to dramatically reduce diesel emissions, which protects public health and creates jobs.
According to the EPA’s latest report, each federal dollar invested in DERA has leveraged as much as $3 from other government agencies, private organizations, industry, and nonprofit organizations. The program has upgraded tens of thousands of vehicles and pieces of equipment, and DERA funds have been awarded to projects in every state in the country. Through Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, the EPA estimates that total lifetime pollution emission reductions achieved through the DERA program include 15,490 tons of particulate matter, 472,700 tons of NOX, 5 million tons of carbon dioxide, and 11,620 tons of black carbon. The most recent DERA reauthorization passed unanimously in the Senate and by voice vote in the House in 2010.
The text of the bill can be found HERE.