Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced on April 23 $100,000 in rebates from the Environmental Protection Agency to two bus companies in Delaware through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program.
DERA was created through legislation co-authored by Carper and the late Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, to replace or install retrofits on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines with newer, cleaner American-made technology. Since its enactment in 2005, DERA has shown to dramatically reduce diesel emissions, while protecting public health and creating jobs.
EPA is awarding two rebates to go toward five buses: $20,000 to Hill’s Bus Service in Houston for one bus, and $80,000 to Sutton Bus and Truck Company in Wilmington for four buses.
“Today, Delaware’s air got a little cleaner thanks to the DERA program,” said Carper. “Cleaning up dirty diesel engines through the DERA program continues to be a win-win for American jobs and clean air. In a time when our country is facing a respiratory public health crisis, cleaner air is more important than ever. The DERA program continues to pay off in dividends by reducing air pollution, preventing premature deaths, reducing health care costs and creating good-paying American jobs. Today, our nation needs programs like DERA, programs that are good for the environment and good for the economy. This is why I continue my work in the Senate to ensure DERA is well funded and authorized for years to come.”
Carper is the sponsor of S.747, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2009, which if passed would reauthorize the DERA program through Fiscal Year 2024 and ensure equal funding opportunities between both metropolitan centers and less populated, rural areas across the country.
In 2019, EPA released the agency’s Fourth Report to Congress on DERA’s performance. According to the report, from fiscal 2008-16 DERA grants funded projects to replace or retrofit 67,300 engines in vehicles, boats, trains, and other pieces of equipment. In the report, EPA estimates that these DERA projects will prevent up to 2,300 premature deaths, slash millions of tons of harmful air pollution and save almost half a billion gallons of fuel over the lifetime of these engines — delivering $30 in monetized health benefits for every $1 spent by the federal government.