WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday approved a five-year reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), which provides funding to reduce emissions from school buses and other vehicles.
Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), called the passage by the Environment and Public Works Committee a key step in continuing "a vital clean air program that has benefited communities in every single state in the nation."
The bipartisan legislation was introduced on Nov. 18 by Senators George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) and cosponsored by several of their colleagues.
“While it’s been difficult lately to find environmental issues that have near-universal bipartisan support among Democrats and Republicans, DERA has proven to be one program to do so,” Schaeffer said.
Reportedly, more than 500 environmental, health, industry and government organizations have endorsed reauthorization of DERA.
"Dirty diesel emissions are a major threat to public health and are linked to thousands of premature deaths, lung ailments and numerous other harmful health issues," Carper said. "This legislation is a win-win-win program, promoting public health and economic benefits and creating new jobs through diesel retrofits."
Schaeffer said DTF hopes the full Senate and House will continue the bipartisan effort and reauthorize DERA during the lame duck session.