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National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC)

Working Together for Cleaner Air

Environmental Justice


Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice is one of the seven priorities for EPA’s future. EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice serves as a central focus point for this issue within the Agency.

EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality is also engaged in addressing issues of environmental equality, including where minority and disadvantaged populations receive disproportionate impacts from diesel emissions. Activities of the National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) further EPA’s commitment to reduce health and environmental harm from diesel emissions in all communities throughout the country.

Diesel engines emit particulate matter (soot); nitrogen oxides which contribute to the production of ground-level ozone (smog) and acid rain; hydrocarbons; air toxics; and black carbon .

Particle matter contains microscopic solids or droplets so small they can get deep into the lungs causing serious health problems such as asthma and allergies, and worsening heart and lung disease, especially in vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into the lungs, and may even enter the bloodstream.

There are a number of ways for community members to help reduce harmful diesel emissions in their communities. More information is available elsewhere on this website, but here are a few key places to begin.

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Clean Diesel Collaboratives

Reducing diesel emissions is a shared responsibility. Collaboration has been the hallmark of successful clean diesel programs, which brings together the right people from government, environmental and community organizations, fleet owners/operators, private industry, and other stakeholders.

As part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign, seven regional collaboratives across the nation work to take a local approach to reducing diesel emissions. These Clean Diesel Collaboratives are public-private partnerships of diverse, multi-stakeholder groups including EPA regional offices, equipment manufacturers, fleet owners, state and local governments, and non-profit organizations. They provide technical assistance, foster partnerships, and identify and leverage resources. They are an ideal place for community organizers to get to know what kinds of activities are going on in their region and state.

Idle Reduction Kit

The Idle Reduction Campaign Do-it-yourself Kit provides extensive information including templates that can be used to implement a school bus idle reduction program in your community. These programs can have an important impact on reducing emissions for school children, a population that is particularly vulnerable to the impact of diesel emissions.

State and Local Toolkit

The State and Local Toolkit contains information and examples designed to help state, regional, and local governments improve air quality and public health through diesel engine emission reduction efforts, particularly where states and localities are participating in the NCDC State Grant Program and/or the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Four areas to explore include Building support; Program Design; Funding; and Evaluation.

Grant Funding

EPA has awarded millions of dollars in clean diesel grants under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program (known as DERA). Tips for a Successful Diesel Retrofit Grant Application provide ideas for improving the competitiveness of your grant application. Availability of funding is dependent on congressional appropriation.

Past Projects

Looking over lists of past projects can be helpful in becoming familiar with the wide range of activities and technologies that can be applied to diesel engines.

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Technical Information

Diesel Retrofit Technologies

Fact sheets are available for several common diesel retrofit technologies. These provide a good starting point for learning about retrofit devices often used to reduce diesel emissions.

Diesel Emissions Quantifier

The Diesel Emissions Quantifier (Quantifier) is an interactive tool that can help evaluate clean diesel projects by estimating emission reductions, cost effectiveness, and health benefits for individual or multiple fleets of diesel vehicles or vessels.

Tips for a Successful Diesel Retrofit Project

Tips for Successful Diesel Retrofit Project provide suggestions ranging from how to create a fleet inventory to understanding fuel standards and requirements.

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Additional information about air quality and environmental justice can be found at EJ Air.

For questions, technical assistance, or more information: Contact Us

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