In 2005, the U.S. Congress passed the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) as an amendment to the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Title VII, Subtitle G. Federal funding for DERA was reauthorized in 2010 and in subsequent years. The DERA funding program was designed as a voluntary means to reduce diesel emissions from existing diesel engines that were not manufactured to meet more stringent post-2006 emission standards. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for overseeing and distributing funds under the DERA program. For more information, visit EPA’s Clean Diesel and DERA Funding webpage.
There are four main areas of funding within DERA, each of which receives a percentage of the total DERA funds appropriated by Congress each year: 60 percent from the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, 30 percent from State Allocated DERA Funding, 6 percent from the SmartWay Innovative Finance Program, and 4 percent from the Emerging Technology Program.
State Allocated DERA Funding
Approximately 30 percent of DERA funding is allocated to the State DERA Program, which is non-competitive funding divided evenly among all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Air Resource Management is responsible for implementing and overseeing Florida’s allocation of DERA funding.
State DERA Program funding must be used to develop grant, rebate, or low-cost revolving loan programs to fund clean diesel projects. Examples of projects funded through the state’s Clean Diesel Program include verified idle reduction retrofits on long-haul trucks, marine engine replacements, and replacements of older school buses.
Florida by the Numbers
As of 2016, Florida’s population is ranked fourth in the nation with just under 20 million residents. Florida’s senior citizens, school-age children and young adults make up a disproportionately large portion of the state’s population. Tourists and visitors each year comprise about three times the state’s population. Fuel consumption ranks among the top five states, with almost 10 billion gallons of gasoline and 2 billion gallons of diesel consumed annually. Per capita gasoline consumption is roughly 470 gallons per year.
Current Florida Projects
Port Drayage Truck Replacement Program
The Department is making grant funding available for Port Drayage Truck Replacement projects eligible under DERA guidelines. This funding will be for the replacement of eligible model year 1995-2006 Class-8 diesel-powered port drayage trucks with new diesel-powered drayage trucks for a partial reimbursement of up to 50 percent. Funded projects must be completed, including the required scrapping of the old drayage vehicle, before the end of the State Fiscal Year, which ends June 30, 2019. Applications are due to the Department’s Division of Air Resource Management by February 15, 2019. The application worksheet may be found here. For information regarding eligibility, please refer to the DERA Program Guide.
Marine Vessel Diesel Engine Replacement Program
The Department made grant funding available for Marine Vessel Diesel Engine Replacement projects eligible under DERA in November 2018. This funding is for the replacement of eligible marine diesel engines with new marine diesel engines. Interested potential project partners were encouraged to complete an application worksheet, which were due to the Department’s Division of Air Resource Management by November 28, 2018. The Department has entered into a grant agreement with one project partner for the replacement of three eligible marine diesel engines and will complete the project before the end of the State Fiscal Year.
Past Florida Projects
Idle Reduction Program for Freight Trucks (2009 and 2011)
Auxiliary Power Units (APU) provide air conditioning and electrical power to meet hotel loads for trucks equipped with sleeper berths. A truck equipped with an APU can shut off the main truck engine overnight. The APU consumes 1/5 the fuel compared to the large engine. In addition to the fuel savings, truck engines equipped with APUs require less maintenance due to reduced idling. During the incentive program period, applicants with eligible trucks qualified for a $1,500 rebate after purchasing and installing an APU.
Port Clean Diesel Projects (2010 and 2011)
With the completion of the Panama Canal widening project, port freight movement is expected to continue to increase along the Gulf Coast and eastern United States. In response to this activity, DEP focused on projects to reduce diesel emissions at Florida’s shipping ports. Such projects have reduced diesel emissions in heavy industrial areas in and around ports where workers and nearby homeowners are exposed to local impacts from older diesel engines.
Both marine engine replacements and cargo handling equipment engine repowering projects were funded at Port Everglades. The funding was used to upgrade emissions controls and the reliability and fuel efficiency of vessels and vehicles operating at this port. The Port Everglades project was completed in 2010. See DEP's press release for more information.
In 2011, large overhead crane engines at Port Jacksonville were retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts to reduce emissions by up to 50 percent from these large (above 2,000 horsepower) diesel engines.
Clean School Bus Projects (2009-2011)
Since 2009, approximately 14 percent of the state’s school buses have been retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts, passive emission reduction devices that do not require maintenance and do not affect fuel economy. At a cost of approximately $1,200 per unit, these projects were funded primarily through DERA grants together with, in some cases, matching local or state government funds. These retrofits reduced tailpipe emissions from each school bus by approximately 50 percent. See DEP's press release for more information.
In 2009, Ward International Truck contracted with DEP to utilize $175,553 in funding from EPA to install diesel oxidation catalysts on 140 buses in Bay and Okaloosa counties.
In 2008, DEP contracted with Ward International Truck to retrofit school buses with diesel oxidation catalysts. A total of 199 school buses in 10 rural school districts in Florida’s panhandle area were retrofitted.
Ring Power Corp. contracted with DEP to spend approximately $984,000 to retrofit diesel oxidation catalysts on 929 school buses in Charlotte, Citrus, Desoto, Dixie, Hernando, Manatee, Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties.
Partnering with Contractor Associations to Reduce Non-Road Emissions (2010)
Florida assisted the Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association on a $1.675 million DERA project to repower and reduce emissions from off road machinery used in the construction industry. DEP provided the project’s education component and presented information to the industry on air pollution control options for non-road engines and alternative fuel options. Additional information on the project can be found on the association’s website.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allocated $300 million nationwide for the DERA program. For the state allocation portion, all 50 states and District of Columbia applied for funding. EPA divided the national funding into equal portions, giving Florida approximately $1.73 million for its State Clean Diesel Grant Program. The clean diesel projects included school bus retrofits and projects at shipping ports across the state. Diesel retrofits typically involve the installation of emission control devices to reduce emissions from diesel engines and can include the installation of equipment to reduce unnecessary idling. Florida projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were completed in 2011.
2017 DERA State Grant Program
Under the 2017 DERA State Grant Program, DEP will seek to fund a range of DERA-eligible projects across the state
DEP Awards Port Everglades Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant
~Port will upgrade engines to reduce emissions~
September 29, 2010
PORT EVERGLADES - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today awarded a $750,000 grant to Broward County’s Port Everglades for diesel emissions reduction through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Diesel Campaign. Funds will allow the port to retrofit, upgrade or replace diesel engines to reduce emissions. Broward County is also contributing $510,000 to emissions reduction projects at the port.
“Reducing emissions from diesel engines will result in healthier air at the port and surrounding communities," said Joe Kahn, DEP Air Division director. “DEP appreciates Port Everglades’ leadership in rolling out clean diesel technologies, which will serve as a model for the other seaports.”
The grant will fund the purchase and installation of diesel emissions reduction equipment for on-road and off-road equipment, replacement of old generators, forklifts and service vehicles. Other port projects include diesel cargo handling equipment that will be retrofitted with newer emissions reduction technology, and repowering of diesel boats with more efficient, cleaner burning engines.
“Port Everglades continuously looks for ways to have a positive environmental impact in the community that also make good business sense," said Port Everglades Director Phil Allen. “We applaud DEP for making this grant available and challenging our staff to find ways that we can improve our existing diesel equipment to better protect the environment.”
Reducing diesel emissions at ports is a national priority. DEP provided the EPA National Clean Diesel Campaign emissions reduction grant to improve air quality for those who live, work, or recreate in and around Port Everglades. These grants are directed at industry sectors associated with the use of heavy-duty diesel equipment, such as ports, freight and construction. DEP works with interested parties in these sectors to identify emissions reduction projects that are eligible for grant funding. Best practices, lessons learned and environmental impacts from the program will be collected and shared with Florida’s 13 other deepwater seaports to encourage diesel emission reduction initiatives.
Yellow Buses in 10 Panhandle Counties Roll Out Green Retrofits during Environmental Education Week
~DEP Completes $250,000 Grant Project to Improve School Bus Emissions~
April 15, 2010
TALLAHASSEE - To reduce diesel emissions from school buses, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently completed a $250,000 federal grant project from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant, which provided funding assistance for initiatives within the state's Clean Diesel Program, was used to retrofit school buses in rural school districts.
"I am pleased we were able to use these funds for such an important cause," said DEP Secretary Michael W. Sole. "By reducing diesel emissions and investing in clean energy technology, we will ensure a stronger, healthier environment and economy for future generations, while protecting the health of children, one of our most vulnerable citizens to harmful effects of air pollutants."
As a result of the project, buses were retrofitted with diesel oxidation catalysts, devices designed to reduce harmful pollutants in tailpipe emissions. The devices will reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and reduce the air pollution from diesel school buses by approximately 50 percent.
The grant allowed 199 buses to be retrofitted in 10 rural school districts in the Florida panhandle region including Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Wakulla, Walton and Washington. The project involved upgrades to 2003 and older school buses that will remain in the fleet for at least five years.
The goal of the EPA's national program is to save fuel and lower greenhouse gas and diesel exhaust emissions from the country's existing fleet of 11 million diesel engines. Additional information on the EPA's State Clean Diesel Program can be found at https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.
DEP's Division of Air Resource Management is tasked with protecting, conserving and restoring Florida's air, with the primary goal of protecting the health of its residents. Air pollution comes from many sources including factories, power plants, dry cleaners and motor vehicles. The division implements the federal Clean Air Act and appropriate statutes to protect Floridians. The division also monitors the state's air pollution control programs and coordinates its work with the efforts of other local, state and federal air quality programs.
"We are proud to join dedicated forces with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in reducing school bus gas emissions," said Pat Jones, transportation supervisor of the Wakulla District School Board. "We are thankful to have had the opportunity to make a small change that could produce such a large difference."
"Our partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection surpassed our expectations of what we could accomplish together," said John Hamilton, director of transportation for the Jackson District School Board. "The retrofitting of busses is an example of one project that can make an overwhelming difference in the well-being of our environment."
"We are proud to partner with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to help protect school children from harmful pollutants on their morning ride," said Willy Pitts, director of transportation of the Calhoun District School Board. "Together we can help transform our environment while we travel with our most precious cargo."
"We are very proud of the turnout of our collaborative efforts with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection," said Robert Coursey, interim transportation director of the Franklin District School Board. "The retrofitting of school busses is a small change that will lead to a huge environmental impact."
"We are proud to have had such a successful turnout in the completion of this project," said Gil Anderson, director of transportation for the Holmes District School Board. "Our efforts, paired with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, have proven to go a long way in environmentalism and public safety."
"We are very proud of the turnout of our collaborative efforts with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection," said Marc McCaskill, transportation and facilities director of the Liberty District School Board. "This small change will produce an overwhelming impact on the health and safety of our environment and citizens."
"The retrofitting of school buses is a prime example of how one small change can produce an overwhelming environmental impact," said Tony Wilkerson, shop foreman of the Walton District School Board. "We are thankful to have had the opportunity to join forces with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in making a difference."
"We are very proud to partner with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in the retrofitting of school buses," said Bill Lee, transportation director of the Washington District School Board. "This small change will have a positive impact on public health and environmental safety.
"I am pleased we were able to use these funds for such an important cause."
Michael W. Sole DEP Secretary
June 19, 2019 - 10:55am
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.