June 16, 2016 2:00 PM, EDT

EPA Offers $1 Million for Tribes to Clean Up Diesel Engines


The Environmental Protection Agency has announced the availability of up to $1 million in new grant money for tribal applicants to establish clean diesel projects. The money is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, otherwise known as the DERA program, which began giving out grants in 2008.

The program is designed to improve air quality and overall public health by reducing the amount of nitrogen oxides and other particulate matter linked to asthma, lung and heart disease. Under this grant competition, tribal applicants may request up to $800,000 in federal funding.

EPA anticipates awarding up to five tribal assistance agreements, which could help replace, upgrade or retrofit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, energy production generators or other diesel engines.

Proposals from tribal applicants must be received by Aug. 23.

In 2014, EPA awarded more than $925,000 to three tribes in Washington State to replace older marine engines with newer, more efficient ones. In 2015, more than $1.5 million was awarded to six tribes for engine repowers and replacement, and truck stop electrification to reduce truck idling.

Congress passed DERA in 2005 and it could be reauthorized under a pending Senate bill until 2021.