New federal funds available for repowering and retrofitting construction equipment with clean diesel engines and technology

Streamlined, more accessible rebate program will help reduce emissions

Construction equipment used to repair and expand  roads, highways and critical infrastructure will be getting cleaner thanks to a just-announced new rebate program announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The Construction Equipment Funding Opportunity pilot program provides public agencies and private entities under contract with public agencies access to federal funds to help replace older engines in construction equipment or purchase retrofit devices for older construction equipment resulting in near zero emissions. 

“This new rebate program is a cost-effective means to apply our most advanced new clean diesel engines and clean air technologies to older but still valuable diesel-powered equipment that enables them to perform more like a new model,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), an educational non-profit representing the manufacturers of diesel engines, vehicles and equipment. 

“Because of diesel’s unmatched and unique combination of power, performance, reliability, fuel efficiency and now low emissions, it is the technology of choice and the workhorse of the nation’s construction sector, powering more than three-fourths of all heavy construction equipment.”  

The Construction Equipment Funding Opportunity pilot program provides up to $120,000 for up to five engines per applicant:

- Rebates to the owners of older construction equipment to either replace older engines that do not meet emissions standards with engines that meet either Tier 2 or Tier 3 standards.

- Rebates to the owners of equipment that meet more modern Tier 2 or Tier 3 emissions standards to install a diesel particulate filter, a proven technology that reduces fine particles, or soot, to near zero levels.

- Targeted public funding to retrofit or repower equipment found only in regions with poor air quality.

“This new rebate program dramatically streamlines the application process and reduces the burden from previous grant-based approaches. Schaeffer noted. “EPA has really worked hard to improve the process and reduce the paperwork required here down to a one-page application along with supporting documentation.”  

Federal Assistance for the Construction Equipment Funding Opportunity pilot program is provided through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).     



Eligible applicants for this funding opportunity include regional, state, local or tribal agencies with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality.  Private entities that operate non-road construction equipment under a contract or lease with a public entity are also eligible to apply. 

Applicants must operate their equipment in areas of poor air quality, and a full list of eligible counties will be made available by EPA after November 20. 

Applicants may submit one application that includes up to five engines.  These five engines can be any combination of the technology options for a total maximum of $120,000 in rebate funding per applicant.  

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2014, after which time grants will be awarded on a lottery system. 

For more detailed information about the program requirements, eligible applicants and engines, visit:

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