U.S. Reps. Grace Meng (D-Bayside) and Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan/Brooklyn) recently touted the House of
Representative’s passage of $20 million for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants. The money will be used to
replace or retrofit old diesel engines, including those in locomotives and school buses, in order to reduce the
harmful diesel emissions they generate.
The funds were incorporated into the Omnibus Appropriations Bill after Meng and Nadler called for $30 million to be allocated to the program. President Barack Obama has only requested $6 million.
“The approval of $20 million for DERA grants is a victory for our environment across America,” Meng said. “They
will continue to greatly improve air quality, help combat asthma rates in children and increase cleaner diesel
technologies in our communities.”
Nadler said the funds appropriated was a step in the right direction.
“Many diesel engines are decades old and can be found in our school buses and locomotives, which run almost every day,” he said. “Taking advantage of cleaner technologies will improve our air quality and reduce the disastrous consequences of the pollution unnecessarily created by antiquated diesel engines.”
Under past DERA grants, the New York City Economic Development Corporation received funds to upgrade two
locomotives. The Representatives are hopeful that more money can be allocated in the future to New York State to
help with retrofitting additional engines.
Meng and Nadler urged the DERA funding to be allocated in a letter they sent last April to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and related Agencies, the panel that decides funding levels for environmental programs.
The $1.1 trillion Omnibus Appropriations package passed the House by a vote of 359 to 67. Its approval avoids a
government shutdown by funding federal agencies through September.