Grant Funding Available for Projects to Boost Air Quality in SC

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) on March 13 announced the availability of grant funding for projects aimed at improving air quality by reducing diesel emissions. Diesel emissions make up a significant portion of mobile source air pollution in South Carolina, and less diesel emissions can lead to better air quality. 

For federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023, DHEC has approximately $430,000 available for the replacement or upgrade of older diesel vehicles, engines and equipment. These funds are provided through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program.

“Diesel engines last a long time, and many older-model diesel engines are still in use throughout our state,” said Rhonda Thompson, chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Air Quality. “These older engines have significantly higher emissions than similar, newer engines. Projects funded through DERA grants will help reduce diesel emissions and, in turn, provide benefits to both public health and the environment in South Carolina.”

DERA funding is intended for county, city or other local government entities, private businesses, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations. Grants are awarded to eligible applicants for the implementation of diesel emissions reduction projects that will positively impact air quality and public health. These projects should be cost-effective, easily feasible and reduce emissions through engine repowers, equipment and exhaust retrofits or equipment replacements. EPA can share between 25% and 100% of eligible costs, depending on the type of project. 

Previous DERA grant funding has been used to support a variety of different types of emissions-reduction projects, including replacing concrete trucks, repowering a marine vessel and retrofitting school buses. Berkeley County was awarded funded in 2020-21 to  replace a 1978 CAT Soil Compactor with a  2023 Bomag BW211DH-5.

A complete list of past projects funded by DERA grants in South Carolina can be found on DHEC's DERA webpage.

The FFY 2023 State DERA Request for Proposals, which contains detailed eligibility criteria and application instructions, is available at

Applications are due by April 26, 2024.

Please email with any questions related to DERA grants in South Carolina.