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. The 2015 grant is the seventh DERA allocation for the State of Iowa.


The Iowa DNR has created a competitive grant program for the following:

  • Municipalities (of any population), counties, and public transit agencies whose vehicles/equipment operate in Clinton, Harrison, Mills, Pottawattamie, and Scott counties.
  • Municipalities (with a population of 50,000 or more), counties, and public transit agencies whose vehicles/equipment operate in 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, or Worth counties.

Eligible on-road or non-road vehicles and equipment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Medium-duty or Heavy-duty Transit Buses;
  • Medium-duty or Heavy-duty Trucks (defined as Class 5 through Class 8); and
  • Non-road engines, equipment or vehicles used in Construction; Cargo Handling; or Agriculture

Projects may begin as early as December 1, 2015 and all projects must be completed by August 30, 2016. The DNR will reimburse applicants, dependent on their project, the following percentages:

  • Exhaust Control Devices - 100% funded;
  • Engine Upgrades/Repowers - 40% funded; and
  • Vehicle/Equipment Replacement - 25% funded

The maximum request must not exceed $180,000.00. To be considered for this funding opportunity, please submit the following application materials. Incomplete applications may be disqualified from consideration.

Submit one hard copy of the signed and completed application packet (application form and fleet description form) no later than October 30, 2015 at 4 p.m. CST.


In December 2014, the DNR – Air Quality Bureau awarded $80,000.00 in funds to the City of Dubuque to complete emissions control retrofits on four city vehicles. The project funding was for the pre-testing and purchase/installation of four (4) Donaldson Low Nitrogen Dioxide Filters (LNFs) and/or Low Nitrogen Oxide Filters (LXFs). In July 2015, the grant funding was decreased ($14,921.61) and the project was amended to the following:

Pre-Testing and Preparation ($2,235.93)
  • Allocated for the pre-testing and any preparation needed to get vehicles ready for retrofit installation
  • Completed March 16, 2015
Four (4) Diesel Oxidation Catalyst Muffler (DOC) and Crankcase Filter Retrofit Kits ($12,685.68)
  • Purchase and Install on city maintenance vehicles: two - 2001 Freightliner heavy duty dump trucks, one – 1998 International heavy duty utility truck, and one – 1998 International medium duty utility truck.
  • Completed August 27, 2015

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, travelling on the four U.S. and two state highways that serve the transportation needs of the area. The City of Dubuque, through a partnership, 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 DERA grant assisted the City of Dubuque in meeting the goals on the PM Advance program.


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 1991 and 2006 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: