DERA projects seek to replace or refurbish diesel engines and vehicles made before 2008, which emit higher levels of air pollutants like nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. In the Pacific Northwest, the EPA recently funded replacement, refurbishment and retrofitting for five diesel engines in rural power plants in Alaska, 23 school buses in Idaho, 12 vehicles and non-road equipment in Oregon and 76 school buses in Washington.
DERA funding prioritises communities with high diesel emissions, like those near ports and rail stations. Funding has gone towards projects such as replacing and retrofitting school buses, construction and freight trucks, and engines within power plants. The EPA estimates that the DERA program has reduced CO2 emissions by 4.8 million tons and that every dollar spend on diesel projects generates up to $13 in public health benefits. The Clean Diesel program has prevented up to 1,700 premature deaths, and these projects lead to increased productivity, with fewer sick days from work and school, and decrease asthma attacks and emergency room visits.