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.

2015 DERA

The 2015 grant is the seventh DERA allocation for the State of Iowa. The DNR - Air Quality Bureau created a competitive DERA grant program to help fund voluntary diesel exhaust reduction projects in areas where some of the highest ozone and PM2.5 concentrations in the state occur.

Eligible on-road or non-road diesel vehicles or equipment:
  • Medium-duty or heavy-duty transit buses;
  • Medium-duty or heavy-duty trucks (defined as Class 5 through 8); and
  • Non-road engines or vehicles used in Construction, Cargo Handling, or Agriculture
Eligible projects and levels of funding included:
  • Exhaust Control Devices – 100% funded;
  • Engine Upgrades /Repowers – 40% funded;
  • Vehicle/Equipment Replacement – 25% funded
Eligible Entities:
  • Invitations to submit projects for DERA grant funding were sent August 27, 2015 to municipalities, counties, and public transit agencies whose vehicles/equipment were stationed in Clinton, Harrison, Mills, Pottawattamie, and Scott counties. Proposals were due September 25, 2015, at which time the Department received one incomplete proposal.
  • A second round of invitations were sent October 7, 2015, with proposals due October 30, 2015. The second round of invites were sent to the same organizations and locations as in the first round and municipalities (with a population of 50,000 or more), counties, and public transit agencies whose vehicles/equipment operate in metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. These areas included the counties of Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, Clay, Dallas, Davis, Des Moines, Dickinson, Dubuque, Grundy, Guthrie, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Lee, Linn, Madison, Mahaska, Marshall, Muscatine, Plymouth, Polk, Story, Wapello, Warren, Washington, Webster, Woodbury, and Worth.
2015 Awardees

The Department received two (2) proposals meeting all qualification requirements, requesting funds totaling $227,500. To reduce mobile diesel engine emissions in as many Iowa locations as possible, the Department negotiated with both parties to make a slight decrease in their requested DERA funding so that both projects could proceed.  When completed, the projects have the potential to cumulatively reduce NOx, PM2.5, HC, and CO emissions from diesel exhaust by over 90%.  In December 2015, the DNR – Air Quality Bureau awarded DERA funding for the following projects:

Plymouth County: $55,000
Plymouth County will replace two 2002 International tandem trucks with two new 2016 tandem trucks. The Class 8a trucks are used to primarily haul material and plow snow from roads. Recipient will provide a match of funds estimated at $215,000.00.

City of West Des Moines: $125,500
The City of West Des Moines will replace a 1995 E-One fire engine with a new fire engine that will meet current diesel emission standards. The replaced fire engine will be a “first out” vehicle for response to emergencies within the City of West Des Moines and used as needed to assist other area communities in emergency situations. Recipient will provide a match of funds estimated at $541,500.00.

Project Time Frame
Project Description
Project Payment
December 1, 2014 – September 25, 2015 City of Dubuque Pre-testing & preparation, 4 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst & Crankcase Retrofits $14,374.63
November 21, 2012 – April 15, 2014 City of Muscatine Pre-testing & preparation, 7 Crankcase Ventilation System Retrofits, 6 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst Retrofits & 2 Transit Bus Replacements $194,159.08
March 1, 2012 – October 1, 2012 7 Various School Districts in Iowa 18 Crankcase Ventilation System Retrofits, 12 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst Retrofits & 7 School Bus Replacements $286,828.32
December 15, 2010 – November 15, 2011 7 Various School Districts in Iowa 35 Crankcase Ventilation System Retrofits, 34 Diesel Oxidation Catalyst Retrofits & 7 School Bus Replacements $313,986.08
May 25, 2009 - September 30, 2010 Clinton C.S.D Purchase 1 Hybrid School Bus & 3 Diesel School Bus Replacements $412,220.00


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: