School buses are among the eligible vehicles to be retrofitted or replaced in the latest round of Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding. Photo by Barb Kracheck

School buses are among the eligible vehicles to be retrofitted or replaced in the latest round of Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding. Photo by Barb Kracheck

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Grants totaling $26 million will be made available to curb emissions from the nation’s diesel fleet, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Thursday.

The funding is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program, which began in 2008. The EPA has awarded close to 700 grants across the U.S. since the first year of the program.

For the 2016 grant competition, the EPA is calling for proposals for projects that would reduce diesel emissions and exposure, especially in areas with poor air quality. Agency officials said that priority will be given to projects that “engage and benefit local communities and applicants that demonstrate their ability to promote and continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.”

Diesel school buses are among the eligible vehicles. Grant funds can be used for such clean diesel projects as retrofits, idle-reduction technologies, low rolling resistance tires, and engine or vehicle replacements.

The deadline for applications is April 26. The EPA expects to give out 10 to 40 awards for this competition. The agency plans to notify the chosen applicants in June and award the funds in October.

For more information, and to access the request for proposals, go here.

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