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DHEC Now Accepting Applications for Projects Aimed at Reducing Diesel Emissions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 1, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Grant funding is now available for the replacement or upgrade of older diesel vehicles, engines, and equipment to help reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality in South Carolina. 

Diesel emissions make up a significant portion of the mobile source air pollution in South Carolina. For Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2020, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has approximately $285,000 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.

“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. SCDHEC can share between 25 percent and 100 percent of eligible costs, depending on the type of project. 

Previous DERA grant funding has been used to support a variety of different types of emissions reduction projects including replacing concrete trucks, repowering a marine vessel, and retrofitting school buses. A complete list of projects funded by DERA grants in South Carolina can be found here.  “DERA grants continue to support innovative projects which improve air quality while simultaneously spurring economic growth in South Carolina,” said Thompson. 

The FFY2020 SC State DERA Request for Proposals (RFP), which contains detailed eligibility criteria and application instructions, is available at Applications for the FFY2020 SC State DERA grant cycle are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2020 for primary consideration. Applications received after this date will be considered as funding is available. 

Please contact Sam Christmus at or (803) 898-0717 with any questions related to DERA grants in South Carolina.