Environment Committee

Diesel Retrofits: Providing Green Jobs, Cost Savings and Clean Air Throughout the Country

July 20, 2010

The United States relies on diesel power to transport commuters, tourists and students; harvest its crops, build its infrastructure and move its freight. New clean diesel technology is reaching near zero emissions, but fleet turnover will take many years. Emissions from older diesel vehicles and equipment can be reduced between 20-90 percent with cost-effective retrofit technology. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERP) has helped fund more than 3,000 retrofit projects to date, which have reduced emissions while employing thousands of workers who manufacture, sell or repair diesel vehicles and their components in each state. Industry, environment and public sector representatives support robust funding of $100million for the program in FY2011 and seek its reauthorization for another five years.

Five years ago, Congress passed the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The program was authorized for $200 million/year for 5 years or $1 billion.

Since that time, $464.7 million has been appropriated to the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERP), $164.7 million in annual appropriations and $300 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama’s FY2011 budget calls for an additional $60 million in FY2011.

Program Results – First Year Return on Initial $49.2 Million Investment

  • 19 projects affecting more than 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles/equipment across the country
  • $61.4 million in matching funds
  • New state clean diesel grant programs in all 50 states
  • 46,000 tons of NOx emission reductions
  • 2,200 tons of PM emission reductions
  • $580 million to $1.4 billion in public health benefits
  • 464,400 tons of CO2 emission reductions
  • $3.2 million gallons of fuel saved per year for a cost savings of more than $8 million per year

Future Dividends - Significantly Greater Returns are Anticipated

  • More than 600 applications were received in 2008 for the $300 million under the ARRA. Approximately $2 billion was requested and more than $2 billion in matching funds offered.
  • Nearly 400 applications were received in 2009 for the $84 million available in FY2009 and FY2010 (not including $36 million for state programs). Approximately $570 million in funding was requested and more than $1 billion in matching funds offered.
  • EPA estimates that more than $1 billion in qualified, unfunded project proposals have been received.

Investing in the Nation’s Future - Diesel Retrofits Offer a Solid Investment

  • Supported by a broad coalition of more than 220 environmental, public, industry and labor groups
  • Strong bipartisan support in the House and Senate
  • An estimated $13 of economic benefit for every $1 spent on diesel retrofits (EPA)
  • Among the most cost effective air quality projects (National Academy of Science)
  • Over 90 percent reduction in black carbon emissions are possible
  • Promotes adoption of green technology which is already commercially available and supports green manufacturing, marketing and maintenance jobs in all 50 states

Congressional Action is Needed – Current Program Funding and Program Extension

  • Congress should provide $100 million for DERP in FY2011
  • Congress should provide $309.1 million for state and local air quality grants which help fund related, core air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act
  • Congress should reauthorize DERP beyond FY2011

This document was prepared by the DERA coalition including the Diesel Techology Forum, Emissions Control Technology Association, Caterpillar, Cummins, Corning, the American Lung Association, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Association of Pupil Transportation and Association of General Contractors. call 301-668-7230 for more info.