DERA stands for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allocate 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.

2016 DERA

The 2016 grant is the eighth DERA allocation for the State of Iowa. The DNR - Air Quality Bureau has created a competitive DERA grant program to help fund voluntary diesel exhaust reduction projects. The 2016 DERA Guidelines and Overview provide a more detailed explanation of the program and requirements to participate.

Eligible Entities:
  • School Districts;
  • County agencies and municipalities;
  • Public Transit
Eligible 1991-2006 Diesel Engines for On-Road Vehicle Use:
  • School Buses (Type A, B, C and D that meet NHTSA definition of a school bus);
  • Medium-duty or Heavy-duty Transit Buses;
  • Medium-duty or Heavy-duty Trucks (defined as Class 5 through 8)
Eligible Projects and Levels of Funding:
  • Exhaust Control Devices – 100% funded;
  • Clean Alternative Fuel Conversions – 40% funded;
  • Engine Repowers – 40% funded;
  • Vehicle Replacement – 25% funded
How To Apply:

To be considered for this funding opportunity, please submit the following application materials.

Submit one hard copy of the signed, completed application materials to:
Jim McGraw
Iowa DNR – Air Quality Bureau
7900 Hickman Rd., Suite 1
Windsor Heights, IA 50324

Complete applications are due June 19, 2017 at 4 p.m. CST.  Applications received after 4 p.m. will be deemed ineligible and not reviewed. Incomplete applications may be disqualified from consideration.  Electronic mail and faxed applications will not be accepted.

Questions or requests for clarifications about the grant program must be directed in writing to Jim McGraw via email at

  • Verbal questions will not be addressed;
  • Subject line should identify “DERA 2016 question”;
  • Reference page and section if questions or requests for clarifications pertain to a specific section of the 2016 DERA Guidelines and Overview;
  • Deadline for written questions is June 5, 2017 - answers posted no later than June 7, 2017 on the DNR website

DNR reserves the right to amend this guidance at any time using an addendum.

Project Time Frame
Project Description
Project Payment
February 21, 2017 - September 30, 2017 Central City School District Purchase 2 propane school buses replacements $34,447
February 21, 2017 - September 30, 2017 College Community School District Purchase 1 diesel school bus replacement $23,750


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 may include buses, medium or heavy duty trucks, non-road engines, equipment, or vehicles, marine engines, and locomotives. The vehicles must have been manufactured between specific years 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 reimbursement (dependent on the technology) with DERA grant money.

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