Stimulus sets aside $300 million in diesel emissions reduction cash

| 2/10/2009

Truckers upgrading existing equipment or adding APUs may soon see some relief coming from Washington, DC.

After both the House and Senate approved different versions of the stimulus package in recent days, truckers may soon see diesel emissions-reduction programs, such as APU reimbursement programs, funded.

Part of the more than $800-billion stimulus package includes $300 million set aside for small businesses through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program – referred to as DERA.

Differences between the House and Senate versions of DERA will now be worked out in a conference committee. For instance, the House version calls for no more than 3 percent of the funding to be used for administrative purposes, while the Senate version would allow only 1.5 percent to be used for administration.

The Senate version also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to provide Congress with a general plan for how the $300 million will be spent, before a 90-day detailed plan would include more in-depth information about DERA-funded projects.

OOIDA is part of a broad coalition of organizations that asked Congress for DERA funding for truckers.

Mike Joyce, OOIDA director of legislative affairs in Washington, DC, recently told Land Line that diesel emissions-reduction funding could help many small-business trucking companies.

“This DERA program is something that helps truckers as far as being able to use some of these resources to add an APU to their truck,” Joyce said in early February “and it helps the environment at the same time.”

The DERA program was started years ago, although little money has been appropriated for the program.

Congress appropriated $50 million for the program this past year, which the EPA used to fund emissions-reduction programs, including $1.13 million being administered by OOIDA for its 40 percent reimbursement program toward the cost of APU purchase and installment.

For more information on OOIDA’s APU reimbursement program, click here.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer