Congress Passes Environmental Legislation

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) now just needs President Obama’s signature for the bipartisan legislation to be reauthorized for five more years as the U.S. House of Representatives approved DERA by a voice vote.

 “Today’s passage of DERA is a significant environmental and political accomplishment for the U.S. Congress.  The House and Senate have proved that bipartisanship can be attained on major environmental initiatives,” says Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF).

“Passage of the DERA reauthorization will play a major role in our nation’s effort to expand our clean air initiatives.  In its first five years, DERA has proven to be one of the nation’s most successful clean air programs.  In addition, DERA has provided an average of $20 worth of environmental and health benefits for every $1 spent.  That’s a tremendous return on investment for any federal program.

“The bipartisan action by the House and Senate will benefit communities in every state in the nation.

DERA (H.R. 5809) is a five-year reauthorization of the highly-successful program created in 2005 to establish voluntary national and state-level grant and loan programs to reduce diesel emissions by upgrading and modernizing older diesel engines and equipment.  The bipartisan legislation was introduced on November 18th by U.S. Senators George Voinovich (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and cosponsored by several of their colleagues including Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK).  The House sponsors were U.S. Reps. Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Laura Richardson (D-CA).

DERA is being supported by a unique and diverse coalition of more than 500 environmental, health, industry, labor and government organizations.

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