Congresswoman Richardson’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 Passes Congress

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laura-richardson Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 Passes CongressOn Tuesday December 21, 2010, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2010 introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Laura Richardson won final approval from Congress and is headed to the White House to be signed into law by President Obama. This bill is vital piece of legislation necessary to extend a national and state-level grant, rebate, and loan program that would create jobs, save lives, and significantly improve the nation’s air quality. Congresswoman Richardson spoke strongly on the floor in favor of the bill and persuaded her colleagues to pass the bill unanimously.

“The immediate and long term benefits of passing the DERA Act are substantial to the 37th Congressional District and our nation as a whole,” explained Congresswoman Richardson. “The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act not only provides economic incentives to decrease emissions and protect our environment, but also creates significant health benefits as well.”

Congresswoman Laura Richardson’s legislation reauthorizes and modernizes the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2005 (DERA), which was set to expire at the end of the fiscal year 2011. The bill passed by Congresswoman Richardson not only authorizes a five year extension of current operations, but also includes several important modifications to expand the program and increase eligibility.

“I represent a region that is home to the largest port complex in the nation and consists of some of the busiest freeways and railways in the nation,” said Congresswoman Richardson.

“However the area also suffers from poor air quality. The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act not only provides economic incentives to decrease emissions and protect our environment, it also creates substantial health and economic benefits. It is a critical step forward for the health of the people of the 37th district and across the nation that we have passed this important bill today. Through this legislation we we have not only extended the program over the next five years, but also improved and expanded the program so it can work even better in protecting the health of those who live near our ports and along our freight corridors,” Rep. Richardson concluded.

Originally passed with strong bipartisan support as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, the program is widely considered one of the most cost-effective federal programs in the nation. The EPA has estimated that in California alone, the program returns an average of more than $13 in health and economic benefits for every $1 spent. Since DERA funding began in 2007, more than 3,000 projects across the nation have benefitted. Additionally, it is projected that an estimated 2,000 lives will be saved by 2017 because of improved air quality attributable do DERA.

“The Port of Long Beach is pleased that Congress has passed a bill to reauthorize the Diesel Emission Reduction Act for five additional years and thanks Congresswoman Richardson for her leadership in moving this measure forward,” said Richard D. Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “Programs like DERA are critical in helping the Port reduce emissions and achieve the environmental goals set forth in our pioneering Clean Air Action Plan.”

In addition to extending the current program of grants and loans, Congresswoman Richardson’s legislation includes a rebate program and will simplify the application process for each funding source. It also expands the program by adding eligibility for the District of Columbia and the territories, eliminates the requirement for 50% of funding to go towards public fleets, and reduces the cap for emerging technologies from 10% to 5%.

DERA Grants in Los Angeles Area 2009-2010

  1. City of Los Angeles Harbor Department, $1.21 million: Awarded to install a natural gas powered shore-to-ship electrical connection system for berthed ocean-going vessels at Port of Los Angeles.
  2. City of Long Beach City Harbor Craft and Cargo-Handling, $1.65 million: Repower three harbor vessels and one piece of cargo-handling equipment; retrofit four pieces of cargo-handling equipment at Port of Long Beach
  3. City of Los Angeles Harbor Department, Port of Los Angeles EcoCrane Project, $731,298: Awarded to replace a conventional diesel generator on a rubber tire gantry crane used to handle cargo at the Port of Los Angeles with EcoPower Hybrid Systems Inc.’s EcoCrane Hybrid system. This technology uses a lower horsepower, more efficient generator certified at Tier 3 with a battery pack to help reduce idling time. This technology will reduce particulate matter by 25%.
  4. South Coast Air Quality Management District (Port of Long Beach) Advanced Maritime Emission Control System Project, $1.5 million: Awarded to install Advanced Cleanup Technologies, Inc’s Advanced Maritime Emission Control System. The technology acts as a bonnet that encompasses the stack of a vessel while docked at the port of Long Beach. It then captures and treats exhaust, reducing emissions by 70 percent of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and 30 percent of carbon monoxide. The technology can service up to four vessels at one time.
  5. City of Los Angeles Harbor Department, $1.99 million: Awarded to retrofit 27 vehicles including harbor vessels, trucks, sweepers, loaders, cranes, forklifts
  6. Port of Long Beach, $4.01 million: Awarded to replace, repower, or retrofit 118 pieces of cargo handling equipment
  7. South Coast Air Quality Management District, $2 million: Awarded to retrofit 100 heavy-duty on-highway diesel trucks with Johnson Matthey Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology. This project will also create 19 jobs and provide long and short term economic benefits for the surrounding area.
  8. South Coast Air Quality Management District, $2 million: Awarded to retrofit 100 heavy-duty on-highway diesel trucks with Johnson Matthey Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology. These vehicles move goods throughout the South Coast Air Basin, 19 direct jobs will be created in the first two years.
  9. California Air Resources Board (CARB), $5 million: Awarded to provide an innovative finance program for nonroad small fleet retrofits. This program uses EPA funding as a loan guarantee to leverage loan funds via California’s Providing Loan Assistance for California Equipment (PLACE) finance program.

Congresswoman Richardson is a Democrat from California’s 37th Congressional District. She is a member of the House Committees on Transportation & Infrastructure and Homeland Security and is chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response. Her district includes Long Beach, Compton, Carson, Watts, Willowbrook and Signal Hill.

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