Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA)

Policy Issue

Diesel Emission Reduction Act

In 2005, Congress and the Administration sought to provide states and localities with new tools for meeting National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and reducing human exposure to harmful diesel emissions. With overwhelming support from government, industry and environmental organizations, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) established a federally-sponsored voluntary retrofit initiative to reduce emissions generated by America’s aging diesel fleets. States must develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs) to address fine particulate and ozone emission reductions to meet the new air quality standards. A voluntary diesel retrofit initiative offers states and communities the opportunity and flexibility to design their own air quality programs.

DERA was introduced by Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio) in June 2005. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005, which was cosponsored by Chairman and Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vermont), Sen. Thomas Carper (D-Delaware), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), was passed as part of the Energy Policy Act and signed into law in August 2005.

Specifically, DERA:

  • Authorizes $1 billion over 5 years ($200 million annually);
  • Focuses on publicly-owned diesel powered vehicles;
  • Authorizes EPA to oversee the expenditure of 70-percent of the funds;
  • Allocates 20 percent of funds to states to develop retrofit programs, with an additional 10 percent available as federal-state funding matches;
  • Establishes project priorities (such as those that are more cost-effective and affect the greatest number of people); and
  • Includes provisions to stimulate the development of new technologies, encourage more action through non-financial incentives, and require EPA to work with stakeholders and report on the success of the program.


DERA supporters are currently working on the reauthorization of the DERA program which is set to expire in FY 11.  For more information about DERA reauthorization, please click here.

Legislative Information:
Library of Congress information on PL 109-58
DERA section of PL 109-58

Additional legislative information can be found at The Library of Congress THOMAS site


Support for FY 11 Funding:

Support for FY 10 Funding:

Stimulus Funding:

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Congress provided $300 million in funding for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act. The Requests for Application for the various components of this program are available and one of the key components for succesful applications will be demonstrating that the project creates or sustains jobs. Below is a link to the Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association's formula that can assist eligible entities in making this calculation.

Support for FY 09 Funding:

Support for FY 08 Funding:

Support for FY 07 Funding:

Press Releases:

What Other Groups are Saying about DERA:

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Photograph: Copyright 2005, ECTA.