WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee, today celebrated the continued public health and economic benefits of EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program, as outlined in EPA’s Fourth Report to Congress on DERA’s performance. Senator Carper, along with the late Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio), authored and introduced the first piece of legislation that devised this innovative program, which was eventually signed into law in 2005. 

“This report shows us once again that DERA helps save lives, makes air easier to breathe and creates good-paying American jobs in domestic manufacturing – all at a low cost to taxpayers. I couldn’t be more proud of this program’s performance,” said Senator Carper. “According to the estimates released today, just eight years of DERA incentives to upgrade more than 60,000 older diesel engines with cleaner American-made technology will save up to 2,300 American lives and provide at least $30 in benefits for every single dollar of federal investment. This program is a great example of how cost-effective public-private partnerships can drive environmental progress,” Senator Carper said.

“After almost 15 years, DERA continues to be a testament to the late Senator Voinovich’s decades of public service,” Senator Carper continued. “And while we celebrate today’s report, I know more progress is still ahead of us. I look forward to working with my colleagues across the aisle, like Senator Inhofe and Chairman Barrasso, to reauthorize the DERA program and make sure it continues to have the funding it needs to keep cleaning our air, creating jobs and making communities safer places to live, work and raise a family.”

According to the report, from FY 2008-16 DERA grants funded projects to replace or retrofit 67,300 engines in vehicles, boats, trains, and other pieces of equipment.  Over the lifetime of those engines, EPA estimates that those projects will:

  • Prevent up to 2,300 premature deaths
  • Create up to $19 billion in monetized health benefits, a return-on-investment of more than $30 for every $1 spent
  • Save over 454 million gallons of fuel
  • Slash harmful emissions:
    • NOx:  472,700 tons
    • Particulate matter:  15,490 tons
    • Carbon dioxide:  5,089,170 tons


  • In May, the Delaware congressional delegation announced that Providence Creek Academy in Clayton, and D&N Bus Service in Milford were awarded DERA grants to help fund the replacement of older diesel school bus engines.
  • In April, EPW voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill sponsored by Senators Carper and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) reauthorizing the DERA program. The bill, which would reauthorize DERA through 2024, was introduced in March 2019. View the full text of the bill by clicking here.