DNR announces $385,000 in funding to reduce diesel engine emissions

WI DNR
The Wisconsin DNR is now accepting applications for projects that reduce diesel emissions and improve Wisconsin’s air quality and human health.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications for projects that reduce diesel emissions and improve Wisconsin’s air quality and human health. Approximately $385,000 of funds are available to reduce emissions from eligible diesel engines across the state.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began awarding clean diesel grants in 2008 under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), a grant program created by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to reduce emissions from older diesel engines.

While aging diesel engines often remain reliable, they produce more pollution than newer engines. The DERA program has helped improve Wisconsin’s air quality by reducing emissions that contribute to fine particulate, ozone and carbon monoxide levels.

Older engines are also a source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, an important greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Clean diesel grant programs such as DERA have reduced CO2 emissions in Wisconsin by more than 600,000 tons over the lifetime of these programs.

The DNR’s efforts like this help make progress toward Gov. Tony Evers’ executive orders #38 and #52 which focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering clean energy innovation and developing strategies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. In addition to improving air quality, reducing diesel emissions also helps vehicle owners reduce fuel consumption and operating costs.

“The DNR’s Air Program is proud to continue participating in this grant program that encourages diesel operators to implement emission reduction strategies to improve our state’s air quality, safeguard public health and reduce fuel consumption,” said Gail Good, DNR Air Program Director.

Wisconsin benefits substantially from the pollution reduction, health cost savings and local economic incentives of clean diesel grant programs such as DERA. In Wisconsin, these programs have updated or replaced more than 5,200 pieces of diesel equipment. Over their lifetime, the projects funded by these grant programs will:

  • Reduce diesel emissions by more than 625,000 tons.
  • Save more than 49 million gallons of diesel fuel.
  • Result in more than $283 million in health cost savings.

The equipment and vehicles eligible for funding include school and transit buses as well as nonroad engines, equipment and vehicles used in construction, cargo handling and agriculture. Eligible recipients include private, nonprofit and public entities that own or operate diesel fleets and equipment in Wisconsin. The DNR administers this grant with funding provided by the EPA. 

More information about the programs and grant application materials is available on the DNR’s Clean Diesel Grant Programs webpage. The deadline for submitting grant applications is 5 p.m. on June 23, 2021.