WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $30 million for clean diesel projects as part of its ongoing campaign to reduce harmful diesel exhaust that can lead to asthma attacks and premature deaths.

The Diesel Emission Reduction Program, also known as DERA, is designed to replace, retrofit, or repower older diesel-powered engines such as trucks and buses, marine vessels, and locomotives.

Older diesel engines that predate newer, cleaner standards emit large amounts of air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), are linked to health problems, including asthma, lung and heart disease, and premature death, according to the EPA. The clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of pollution.

In this year’s competition, winners were selected based on a proposal’s potential for maximizing health and environmental benefits by targeting areas that have significant air quality issues. Reduced air pollution from diesel engines in these areas can have a direct and significant impact on community health.

New this year is an increased funding availability per award that will allow EPA to target larger engines used in marine vessels and locomotives, which will result in significant emissions reduced per engine, according to the agency.

DERA was enacted in 2005 and since it was first funded in FY 2008, EPA has awarded more than 500 grants nationwide, helping to reduce hundreds of thousands of tons of air pollution and save millions of gallons of fuel.

More on the grants and the National Clean Diesel Campaign can be found at www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.

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