EPA Announces $4.5 Million in Grants Available for Tribes to Replace Diesel Equipment and Reduce Harmful Emissions
For the first time under this competition, matching funds are not required.
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the availability of grant funding available to Tribal governments to implement projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $4.5 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (DERA) grants to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. Older 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.
“Far too often, people living on tribal lands are overburdened by pollution from aging vehicles and engines,” said EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Joseph Goffman. “These grants target the specific needs of tribes to update their fleets with cleaner equipment that will reduce harmful diesel exhaust in their communities.”
A total of $4.5 million will be made available to tribal governments, intertribal consortia, and Alaska Native villages. EPA anticipates awarding five to ten cooperative agreements to tribal governments, intertribal consortia, or Alaska Native villages. Matching funds are not required for eligibility.
Nearly ten million legacy diesel engines are in use in the U.S. Problems that result from these engines include thousands of premature deaths, millions of lost workdays, and numerous other negative health impacts every year. The DERA program prioritizes projects in areas that face the most challenging air quality issues, especially those that benefit underserved communities, or populations that have faced, or are facing, environmental health or environmental justice disparities.
Application packages must be submitted electronically to EPA through Grants.gov to be considered for funding. Three informational webinars to accommodate diverse time zones will take place on May 12, 18, and 20 for interested applicants. EPA anticipates sending notification of awards in August of 2021.
Since the inaugural year of funding for DERA in 2008, EPA has awarded over $830 million on 850 grant projects and 450 rebate projects to reduce diesel emissions nationwide. Many of these projects funded cleaner engines that operate in overburdened communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma, and heart and lung disease.
In 2020, six tribes in Alaska and Washington received DERA grants to replace diesel engines and diesel generators with newer, less polluting models. The tribes in Alaska awarded grants in 2020 include the Buckland IRA Tribal Council, Tanana Chiefs Conference – Manley Hot Springs, Louden Tribal Council, and Kawerak, Inc. In Washington, the Swinomish Tribal Community and the Quinault Indian Nation received DERA awards in 2020. For more information about the DERA grants awarded in 2020, visit: https://www.epa.gov/dera/tribal-dera-awarded-grants.
For more information and the Request for Applications, visit www.epa.gov/dera/tribal.
To sign up for an informational webinar, visit: https://www.epa.gov/dera/tribal#dates.
For general information on the DERA Program, visit www.epa.gov/dera.
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EPA’s Region 10 serves communities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and 271 Tribal Nations. Learn more about EPA’s work in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest at: https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-10-pacific-northwest.