Dear Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly supports S. 747, the bipartisan Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019.
The DERA program, originally established in 2005, has proven to be a model example of the cooperative, solutions-focused framework that is central to the Clean Air Act’s success, bringing together a broad and diverse coalition of regulators, manufacturers, and emissions control providers to work together to improve air quality. The DERA Act of 2019 would build on this record of success by extending the program through 2024 at an authorized funding level of $100 million per year.
The DERA program is widely regarded for its record of providing effective tools to address air quality issues at the local level. While modern diesel engines are extremely clean and technologically advanced, because they can operate for 30 years or more, millions of older, dirtier engines are still in use. The voluntary DERA program provides competitive grants and rebates to projects that replace or upgrade those older engines, often reducing pollutant emissions by more than 90 percent. According to EPA, between 2008 and 2013, DERA funding helped retrofit or replace over 73,000 vehicles, equipment and engines.
The Chamber commends the Committee for its important work, and urges it to favorably report S. 747 to the full Senate.
Neil L. Bradley
cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works