However, these new regulations do not affect the approximately 11 million diesel engines in use today. Fortunately, the same clean diesel technologies that will power the next generation of diesel equipment can be applied to some older engines, reducing emissions by up to 90 percent.
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005 (DERA) was introduced in Congress by a bipartisan, geographically diverse group of Senators led in Congress by Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH). The bill works to reduce harmful emissions from existing diesel engines and authorizes $1 billion over five years to establish voluntary national grant and loan programs for diesel emission reduction projects and programs that improve air quality and protect public health.
DERA, developed with environmental, industry and public officials, represents one of the most important actions the U.S. can take to improve air quality and public health. According to EPA, more than half of all Americans live in places that fail basic health standards for ozone (smog) and particulate matter (soot). The agency estimates that a program like DERA will reduce particulate matter by 70,000 tons and produce economic and health benefits-as much as $19.2 billion annually.
Now lawmakers must take the next step by appropriating the money necessary to fund this vital clean air initiative. Concerned citizens can let their lawmakers know how they feel on the subject by writing to the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515 and the U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510.