Because diesel engines can operate for 20 to 30 years, many older, dirtier diesel engines are still in use. There are many strategies and programs, especially from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to help make these engines cleaner. Through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Program, authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, EPA offers funding to assist eligible partners in building diesel emission reduction programs that improve air quality and public health. Virginia Clean Cities and our stakeholders have been successful in numerous programs and this page can be a resource for future programs.

These clean diesel options can include:

    • Using Cleaner fuels
    • Reduced idling
    • Retrofitting engines with verified technologies
    • Maintaining equipment properly
    • Gaining Operational efficiencies and
    • Replacing Older equipment with certified cleaner models


Buses, medium- or heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, and locomotives qualify, as well as non-road and stationary engines and cargo handling equipment.

Additional federal information can be found at

Funding sources include:

National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance program – to deploy EPA certified technologies – competitive grants – contact VCC if you would like to partner.

State Clean Diesel Grant Program – An allocation that makes funds directly available to states to establish programs – Contact VCC if you would like to partner on future grants.

Successful Clean Diesel Projects in Virginia and the Region:

(1) In April 2010, Virginia Clean Cities and partners were awarded funds for The Virginia Construction Diesel Emissions Reduction Initiative as a public-private partnership spearheaded by Virginia Clean Cities at James Madison University and Luck Stone Corporation. The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program has provided funding to support the repower and replacement of 11 pieces of Luck Stone’s off-road equipment including non-highway trucks and rubber tire loaders operating in the City of Richmond, Charlottesville, Leesburg, and Burkeville. The project’s ultimate goal is to reduce the overall emissions footprint of the Luck Stone fleet. The partnership has chosen diesel engine repowers as the method of accomplishing this goal. Engine repowers will be beneficial for several reasons, including emissions impact, the quantifiable reliability of the method, and it’s overall cost effectiveness. For the project, older model machines with unregulated Tier 1 diesel engines were identified as prime candidates for upgrade.

This innovative, ambitious project is the first of its kind in Virginia and will contribute for many years to the reduction of criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gases, as well as contribute to the creation of approximately 20 jobs. The project was also be performed in several areas that are in the top 10% of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s diesel highway emissions rankings, which suggests that the work proposed will present significant public health benefits. Specifically, the project is expected to net reductions of 30.85 tons of NOx, 2.03 tons of PM, 2.74 tons of HC, and 11.93 tons of CO annually. Through the accomplishment of these goals, the Virginia Construction Diesel Emissions Reduction Initiative will help pave the way towards a cleaner, more efficient construction industry outlook for the Commonwealth.

(2) In June 2009, Virginia Clean Cities was awarded a grant through the Environmental Protection Agency of $1 million, through the Recovery Act, to reduce the amount of diesel burned in state government vehicles by either retrofitting or replacing interested parties’ refuse haulers, city buses, city school buses, and other government vehicles. VCC agreed to match in cost share the awarded grant total and make the project worth $2,048,043 and given a timeline of two years, would use the money to retrofit or replace 64 vehicles total running off of diesel.

After multiple case studies were conducted and RFP’s were submitted for the project, VCC was able to submit a successful grant working with Hampton Roads Transit to retrofit 35 city buses, the City of Richmond to replace one refuse hauler, Spotsylvania County to replace four city school buses, and the City of Chesapeake to replace 24 vehicles total (10 refuse haulers). The proposal required the vehicles to be no older than 15 years and they had to be on the road and in good operable condition. Retrofitted vehicles were installed with diesel particulate filters (DPF’s) and the replaced vehicles were scrapped and replaced with a new natural gas vehicle.

Over the two year completion of the project, VCC served as the project manager, coordinating amongst project partners and vendors, and handled reporting duties to ensure timely and successful completion of the project. VCC also worked with all fleet partners to ensure actions taken, maximize emissions reductions. The four government entities would directly purchase the new technologies, oversee the installation of the retrofits and the scrappage of the old trucks as necessary, and would report these to VCC to be reimbursed.