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EPA Announces $2 Million Grant Competition for Tribes to Help Clean Up Diesel Engines

Priority is given to diesel emission reduction projects in Tribal areas facing air quality challenges

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EPA Press Office (

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the availability of $2.0 million in grant funding for tribal applicants to establish clean diesel projects. Under this grant competition, each applicant may request up to $800,000 in federal funding.

“This funding will promote clean diesel projects and enable tribes to improve air quality and public health,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA will continue to target funds to tribal areas facing significant air quality issues.”

EPA anticipates awarding up to eight tribal assistance agreements.  Projects may include replacing, upgrading or retrofitting school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty diesel trucks, marine engines, locomotives, energy production generators or other diesel engines. Proposals from tribal applicants must be received by Thursday, September 6, 2018.

The Tribal Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program gives priority to projects that achieve significant reduction in diesel emissions and exposure in areas designated as having poor air quality, and in areas receiving a disproportionate quantity of air pollution from diesel fleets. In addition, funding priority will be given to projects that address the needs and concerns of local communities, use partnerships to leverage additional resources to advance the goals of the project, and demonstrate the ability to promote and continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.

This competition is part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program, which funds projects that clean up the nation’s legacy fleet of diesel engines. Older diesel engines emit more air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, than newer diesel engines. These pollutants are linked to a range of serious health problems including asthma, lung and heart disease, other respiratory ailments, and premature death.

Since 2008, DERA grants have funded projects that have significantly improved air quality and provided critical health benefits by reducing hundreds of thousands of tons of air pollution, while saving millions of gallons of fuel. This is the fifth tribes-specific competition for clean diesel funding. Funding for the first four tribes-specific competitions (2014-2017) ranged from $925,000 to $1.5M per year.  Projects included replacement of marine engines, generators used for prime power production, and vehicles, as well as the addition of electrified parking spaces to reduce truck idling.

For more information on the Tribal Request for Proposals and related documents, visit

For more information on the National Clean Diesel campaign, visit