The Senate has passed an amendment to the energy bill that authorizes $1 billion over five years for the voluntary retrofitting of both on-road and off-road existing diesel engines by a vote of 92 to 1.
The bill, proposed by Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-OH), would establish voluntary national grant and loan programs for diesel emission reduction projects and programs that improve air quality and protect public health. It would require that 70% of the funds be distributed by the U.S. EPA with 20% allocated to states to develop retrofit programs. An additional 10% would provide an incentive for states to match federal money.
The measure would prioritize projects for cost-effectiveness and by the number of people affected. The next step would be for it to be considered by the House. President George W. Bush hopes to have the energy bill on his desk by summer.