Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester recently announced the Environmental Protection Agency chose two Delaware applicants to receive funding to replace older diesel school bus engines with cleaner technology through a grant administered by EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program.

Nationwide, EPA awarded $9.3 million to 145 school bus fleets across the country through the program. In Delaware, Providence Creek Academy in Clayton and D&N Bus Service in Milford received the grant awards.

“Fourteen years after I worked with my Republican friend Sen. Voinovich to pass DERA, this program continues to drive clean air progress in the First State and around the country,” said Carper, original co-author of DERA and top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee. “By replacing or retrofitting old diesel engines with American-made technology, DERA spurs domestic job growth, reduces air pollution and cuts down on the greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change. The success of DERA wouldn’t be possible without its widespread, bipartisan support it has enjoyed over the years. I want to thank today’s recipients for doing their part to improve the public health of the communities they support.”

“As we continue to work to reduce our carbon footprint, grants like this one, which will help replace old diesel school buses in Delaware with newer diesel engines that are better for the environment, go a long way,” said Coons. “I’m grateful this EPA funding will help protect the Delaware children who ride these buses from harmful emissions.”

“As the U.S. and Delaware continue to fight climate change by reducing emissions, a focus on fleet vehicles is an important front in that fight,” said Blunt Rochester, member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “These rebates through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act are critical to ensuring that the air that Delaware children and families breathe is clean. I commend Sen. Carper for his work in authoring the piece of legislation that made this program possible and look forward to continue making progress in reducing harmful pollution in our air.”

DERA, first established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, was co-authored by Carper and the late Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio. The DERA program is administered by the EPA and uses federal funding, distributed through grants and rebates, to leverage state and other non-federal funding to finance the voluntary replacement or installation of retrofits on existing heavy-duty diesel vehicles and engines. By replacing or upgrading older diesel engines with newer American-made technology, the DERA program will continue to dramatically reduce diesel emissions, which protects public health and creates jobs.

According to the EPA’s latest report, each federal dollar invested in DERA has leveraged as much as $3 from other government agencies, private organizations, industry, and nonprofit organizations. The program has upgraded tens of thousands of vehicles and pieces of equipment, and DERA funds have been awarded to projects in every state in the country. Through fiscal 2016, the EPA estimates that total lifetime pollution emission reductions achieved through the DERA program include 15,490 tons of particulate matter, 472,700 tons of NOX, 5 million tons of carbon dioxide and 11,620 tons of black carbon. The most recent DERA reauthorization passed unanimously in the Senate and by voice vote in the House in 2010.

Award recipients replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the bus. In the past seven years, EPA has awarded approximately $39 million in rebates to replace almost 2,000 school buses.

For more information on how to apply for a DERA grant, visit bit.ly/2Jk1F1D.