HR 5809, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate on December 16, 2010 and the House agreed to the Senate version of the bill by a voice vote on December 21, 2010. The bill can now be sent to the President for his signature.
The 2005 Energy Policy Act created an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that provides grants and low-cost loans for school districts and other entities to retrofit school buses and other diesel vehicles to meet increasing emission standards for diesel powered vehicles. The program is currently authorized through Fiscal Year 2011.
The current bill would reauthorize for five years, through Fiscal Year 2016, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program. The authorization is for $100,000,000 per year. The program also would be modified by adding a competitive bidding process for groups seeking funding under the program. It would also require the granting authority to expend 95 percent of funds appropriated in a given year on grants to eligible program participants.