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Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Grants

Note: This grant program is not currently open for applications


The DNR – Air Quality Bureau has awarded $80,000.00 in funds to the City of Dubuque to complete emissions control retrofits on four city vehicles. Funding for the project has been provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). The sub-grant award is for full reimbursement of diesel emissions reduction equipment, specifically for the purchase and installation of the following.

  • Pre-Testing and Preparation ($2,000.00)
    • Allocated for the pre-testing and any preparation needed to get vehicles ready for retrofit installation
    • To be completed by February 28, 2015
  • Four (4) Donaldson Low Nitrogen Dioxide Filters (LNFs) and/or Low Nitrogen Oxide Filters (LXFs) ($78,000.00)
    • Purchase and Install on city maintenance vehicles
    • Purchase by March 31, 2015 and Installation completed by September 25, 2015

Retrofit technologies are products that may be added to further reduce emissions from certified engine configurations. LNF/LXF mufflers are systems that use a catalyzed pre-filter and diesel particulate filter (DPF) with a back pressure monitor to achieve reductions in particulate matter (PM) emissions. LNF/LXF mufflers can provide up to an 85% reduction in PM emissions from the vehicle. The diesel reduction equipment will be installed on two 2001 Freightliner heavy duty dump trucks, one – 1998 International heavy duty utility truck, and one – 1998 International medium duty utility truck.

The City of Dubuque was identified as a strong candidate for the funds from the DNR-Air Quality Bureau due to many diesel vehicles, including municipal service vehicles and regional transport authority busses, travelling on the four U.S. and two state highways that serve the transportation needs of the area. Through a partnership, the City of Dubuque, Dubuque Metropolitan Area Transit Study (DMATS) and the Greater Dubuque Development Cooperation (GDDC), voluntarily began participation in EPA’s PM (Particulate Matter) Advance program. PM Advance promotes local actions to reduce fine particle pollution (PM2.5), and its precursors, in attainment areas to help these areas continue to maintain the PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Funding from the DNR-Air Quality Bureau will assist the City of Dubuque in meeting the goals on the PM Advance program.

Additional Information

This is the sixth DERA allocation for the State of Iowa. EPA’s DERA program allocates funds to states for the establishment of clean diesel projects that will reduce diesel emissions in areas of concern using cost-effective projects. The amount of funding available for allocation and the project requirements can change from year to year.

There are two different programs – the State program and the National program. Additional information on the DERA Program is available at

State Program
  • The DNR-Air Quality Bureau receives funding for this program through a specific state allocation of funds. Funding from this program is allocated to all 50 (interested) states. Each state has the opportunity to decline or accept the funds.
  • If the funds are accepted, a work plan detailing the project and how the funding will be used must be submitted and approved by the appropriate Regional EPA office.
  • The AQB typically determines a group to work with on a diesel reduction project and funding is awarded through a contract for the project. In the past, the AQB has primarily awarded funds to city government entities or schools, but the DNR-AQB has the ability to work with other entities
National Program
  • This is a competitive process which requires the submittal of an application/work plan (EPA posts an RFP for interested applicants to reply to) that is then scored and awarded based on the criteria established.
  • For all past funding provided, private entities were not eligible to apply directly for funding, but could partner with eligible entities.

Eligible vehicles for DERA grant funding include buses, medium or heavy duty trucks, non-road engines, equipment, or vehicles, marine engines, and locomotives. The vehicles must have been manufactured between 1990 and 2007 and meet certain remaining useful life requirements. Retrofit technologies that are verified and certified by EPA or California Air Resource Board (CARB), are eligible for 100 percent reimbursement with DERA grant money. More information on eligible applicants is available at

For questions, additional information, or to provide an item for consideration of a DERA project, please email: