Diesel fumes are bad for people. But diesel power is good for a lot of heavy-duty work. So, for now, one answer to threading the needle of that little conundrum is to make diesel engines as clean as possible. To that end, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced $9 million worth of grant funds from the DERA National Funding Assistance Program. If the EPA's numbers are correct, that money could be worth something like $117 million in public health benefits.

The money is meant to be spent in two general categories (which could overlap): projects that are cost-effective and ones that aim to improve the mess we've made in "areas designated as poor air quality areas." Even though, "diesel engines are extremely efficient," the EPA says, their drawback is air pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). Therefore, the $9 million could go to help "school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and other diesel engines" add things like, "verified exhaust control and idle reduction devices, and vehicle and engine replacement." No matter how clean the diesel is, it'll never be as tailpipe-emissions clean as an all-electric school bus, but that's another matter.

Groups interested in submitting a proposal have until June 17th to do so, and award announcements should happen in September. Details here.
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EPA Announces Funding Availability to Clean Up Diesel Engines Nationwide

Funding for diesel clean-up targeting cost-effective projects and poor air quality areas

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the availability of $9 million in grant funding for clean diesel projects to reduce diesel pollution and emissions exposure from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines.

The funding comes from EPA's Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) and will target the most cost-effective projects and fleets operating in areas designated as poor air quality areas.

Diesel engines are extremely efficient but emit air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). These pollutants are linked to a range of serious health problems including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments, and even premature death.

Under this funding, EPA anticipates awarding between 10 and 20 assistance agreements. Various strategies are eligible for achieving diesel emission reductions, such as installing verified exhaust control and idle reduction devices, and vehicle and engine replacement. Projects may include school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, and other diesel engines.

Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, it has improved air quality and provided critical health benefits by reducing hundreds of thousands of tons of air pollution and saving millions of gallons of fuel. EPA estimates that clean diesel funding generates up to $13 of public health benefit for every $1 spent on diesel projects.

EPA has awarded over 600 DERA grants across the US and reduced more than 250,000 tons of NOx and more than 14,000 tons of PM. Many of these projects fund cleaner diesel engines that operate in economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, heart, and lung disease.

The closing date for receipt of proposals is June 17, 2014.

More information and to access the Request for Proposals and other documents: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgnational.htm

More information on EPA's National Clean Diesel campaign: http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel


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  • 13 Comments
      fairfireman21
      • 7 Months Ago
      I can believe anything that our Government says. Look at all the lies we have heard so far. I think the reason they say it can save so much money is because the people that need those trucks can now no longer afford insurance so now they can not go to the doctors to get looked at, so in turn there is no money from patient, to insurer, and from insurer to doctors.
        Spec
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        You are part of the government so I don't believe you.
          fairfireman21
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Spec
          I am sorry I affended you by saying that this Government is bad but please inform me of something they have done right and good. Remember: If you like your plan you can keep it. Realy then why was I dropped? It will be $2500 cheaper, realy why would my premium from Their website cost me 40% more. Heck that is just the tip of the iceburge. Because I am not a fan of a car that would not help me or serve me to the fullest I am bad. Well then I am bad but then again not paying for a car that does not serve me right is better in my shallow pockets rather than saying yea I am broke and desperate for anything to feed my family and I am helping all by driving a car that does not burn gas.
          fairfireman21
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Spec
          If I was part of this Government then I could afford an electric, but I can't.
        fairfireman21
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        I should have said I CAN NOT believe anything they say. Because I CAN'T.
      Levine Levine
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's the old diesel that is dirty; the newer diesel engines are very clean, especially those using urea solution. This EPA program is targeting the dirty diesel engines of yesteryears.
      • 7 Months Ago
      and cost the transportation industry, the consumer, the end truck user, billions and climbing, they leave that part out.
      brotherkenny4
      • 7 Months Ago
      Fumes and particulates, other brain depressing chemical like perfumes and cologne and those silly body washes are all good for controlling people because they make them tired and depressed. It helps make people see what they are told is true and makes them less likely to disagree with the TV or their masters whoever they may be.
      ffforte
      • 7 Months Ago
      The entire fleet of diesel school buses in my town were switched to propane fueled models this year. Besides a huge difference when stuck behind one of those nasty exhausts, the fuel costs are about half.
      goodoldgorr
      • 7 Months Ago
      I heard that they begin to switch these big tractor-trailer trucks to natural gas instead of 'clean' diesel. That will be better.
        Spec
        • 7 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Gorr said something rational!
        Peter3DOGS Mulshine
        • 7 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        What would be best is if we started a national program to power all our vehicles on Hydrogen fuel instead of fossil fuels,,,The exhaust would be a benefit,,,water,,,imagine the deserts of the west being rejuvenated w excess water from the trucks driving through!! We can make hydrogen from automated floating solar/wind powered installations on the sea,,,& then pipe across the country,,If there was a leak?? it would only be water.NOT a fossil fuel leaking into groundwater.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 7 Months Ago
      'could'
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