DHEC Now Accepting Applications for Projects Aimed at Reducing Diesel Emissions

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Diesel emissions make up a significant portion of the mobile source air pollution in the state, which is why the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is offering grant funding for upgrading outdated diesel vehicles, engines and equipment. These upgrades will help reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality in South Carolina.

DHEC currently has approximately $294,000 available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to help support clean diesel and alternative fuel projects in South Carolina, such as the replacement or upgrade of outdated diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment. Previous DERA grant funding has been used to support a variety of different types of emission-reduction projects in the state, including replacing concrete trucks, repowering a marine vessel, and retrofitting school buses.

“Older-model diesel engines still in operation produce significantly higher emissions compared to modern diesel engines and engines powered by alternative fuel sources,” said Rhonda Thompson, Chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality. “This funding will support projects which target older engines for early replacement or retrofit to help reduce the harmful impact of diesel emissions on public and environmental health in South Carolina.”

DERA funding is intended for county, city, or other local government entities, private businesses, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations. Grants are awarded to eligible applicants for the implementation of diesel emissions reduction projects, which will positively impact air quality and public health. These projects should be cost-effective plans to reduce emissions through engine repowers, equipment and exhaust retrofits, or equipment replacements. The EPA can share between 25 percent and 100 percent of the eligible costs, depending on the type of project.

“DERA grants continue to support innovative projects which improve air quality while simultaneously spurring economic growth in South Carolina,” said Thompson.

The FFY2021 State DERA Request for Proposals (RFP), which contains detailed eligibility criteria and application instructions, is available at scdhec.gov/dera. Applications for the FFY2021 SC State DERA grant cycle are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 for primary consideration. Applications received after this date will be considered as funding is available. The complete list of projects previously funded by DERA grants can be found here.

Please email dera@dhec.sc.gov with any questions related to DERA grants in South Carolina.

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