Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) voted with his colleagues on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee to pass legislation co-authored by Sens. Carper and George Voinovich (R-Ohio), the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Reauthorization.
If enacted, the DERA Reauthorization would continue to fund the modernization of the old diesel fleet in the United States by providing cleaner, more efficient diesel retrofits. Every year, DERA helps clean up more than 14,000 diesel-powered vehicles and equipment across the country, which have reduced emissions while employing thousands of workers who manufacture, sell or repair diesel vehicles and their components in each state. This legislation, cosponsored by 28 senators, extends the program by five years. It is supported by a broad coalition of more than 530 environmental, public, industry and labor groups. DERA is considered one of the most cost-effective federal programs, averaging more than $13 in health and economic benefits for every $1 in funding. Since funding started in 2007, pollution reductions from DERA to date will save up to 2000 lives by 2017 and has funded more than 3,000 projects nation-wide, impacting thousands of vehicles and engines.
"Today my colleagues on the EPW Committee and I took an important step forward in our efforts to clean our air and create jobs by supporting bipartisan, common-sense legislation that I have co-authored with my friend Sen. George Voinovich," said Sen. Carper."Dirty diesel emissions are a major threat to public health and are linked to thousands of premature deaths, lung ailments and numerous other harmful health issues. Older cars, trucks and machines that use diesel engines, pump harmful pollutants into the air, putting Americans in Delaware and every state at risk for major health problems."
"Although, retrofitting diesel engines provides enormous environmental benefits, there are few direct economic incentives for vehicle and equipment owners partake in the retrofits," continued Sen. Carper. "In 2005, Congress amended the Clean Air Act to establish a five-year voluntary national and state-level grant and loan program to reduce diesel emissions, protect public health and help states meet EPA air quality standards. DERA uses federal dollars to leverage state and private resources to generate national investments in diesel retrofit technology, helping our recovering economy. This legislation is a win-win-win program, promoting public health and economic benefits and creating new jobs through diesel retrofits and that's why I, with Sen. Voinovich, will continue to work with our colleagues to maintain this critical program and ensure speedy consideration of the program's reauthorization by the full Senate."