The EPA announced the availability of grant funding available to Tribal governments and eligible territories to implement projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions from older diesel engines. Legacy diesel engines emit large amounts of NOx and PM2.5, which contribute to serious public health problems, including asthma, lung disease, and various other cardiac and respiratory diseases. Through the 2024 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Tribal and Territory Grants Notice of Funding Opportunity, EPA anticipates awarding approximately $9 million in total DERA funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds.

“EPA is pleased to support the air quality goals of Tribes and territories as they work to improve public health,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Joseph Goffman. “Replacing older, more polluting diesel vehicles and equipment with cleaner new alternatives will reduce harmful diesel exhaust in nearby communities while supporting local economies.”

A total of $8 million will be made available to federally recognized Tribal governments, intertribal consortia, and Alaska Native Villages, and $1 million will be made available to territories, including government agencies of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Matching funds are not required for eligibility to the program. These grants are specifically tailored to expand access to diesel emission reduction projects to those Tribes and territories with more limited resources. The DERA program has worked with Tribes to tailor the DERA Tribal competition to meet their specific needs since 2014 and opened the program to territories (formerly known as insular areas) in 2021. This allows for Tribes and territories to pursue more robust and impactful projects.

Nearly 8 million legacy diesel engines are in use in the United States and emissions from these engines are a significant source of health problems. The DERA program prioritizes projects in areas that face challenging air quality issues, especially those projects that benefit underserved communities or populations that have faced or are facing environmental health or environmental justice disparities.

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