Clean Diesel Program – Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) continues to take steps in improving Hawaii’s air quality through collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and participation in the federal State Clean Diesel Program.  Through this program, the DOH utilizes EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants to reduce diesel emissions from existing older, air polluting diesel engines operating in our state.  Diesel exhaust consists of harmful particulate matter emissions and other pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons.  Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to serious health problems and respiratory illnesses such as asthma and can worsen existing health conditions such as heart and lung disease, especially in children and the elderly.  Replacing older and dirtier diesel engines with newer cleaner engines and/or electric alternatives also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, critical to addressing climate change and achieving Hawaii’s net-negative emissions goal.  For more information about EPA DERA funding, please click on the following link:

For FY19-21, the DOH is partnering with Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO), combining approximately $2.1 million in federal DERA and VW Settlement funds in support of HSEO’s new Diesel Replacement Rebate (DRR) program.  The program offers a 45% rebate to public and private organizations in Hawaii to replace old, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (i.e. transit, shuttle, and school buses, heavy-duty trucks, etc.) with electric equivalents and associated chargers.  This interagency collaboration benefits Hawaii by maximizing federal dollars provided to our state.  Partnering leverages VW Settlement funds to provide a match for DERA base funds, enabling Hawaii to receive an additional 50% bonus incentive of DERA funds.  Approximately $500,000 of the $2.1 million available are provided by this bonus incentive helping to further reduce diesel emissions within our state.  Please see the following link for more information on HSEO’s DRR program:

A brief summary of projects with subgrantee partners is listed below.

Subgrantee Project Description Funding Notes
HI Dept of Transportation, Highways Division Replacement of Zipmobile DERA $389,916.  State $1,470,084 FY14-16.  Completed in Spring 2019.
C&C Honolulu, Board of Water Supply Replacement of 5 diesel work vehicles DERA $142,404.  State/C&C $427,209 FY17-18.  Completed in Fall 2021.
C&C Honolulu, Division of Transportation Services Replacement of 1 diesel bus with an all-electric bus DERA $451,233.  State/C&C $852,401.  HSEO $226,175. FY17-18. Completed in Fall 2021.  The HSEO provided matching funds in order to obtain a 50% incentive in federal funds.
Robert’s Hawaii Inc. Replacement of 3 diesel buses with all-electric buses DERA $969,333.  HSEO $646,222. FY19-21 (partial). Replacement of two school buses completed Spring 2024, third vehicle replacement processing.  The HSEO is providing matching funds in order to obtain 50% incentive in federal funds.