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Reducing Diesel Emissions: What Vermont is Doing

Reducing public exposure to emissions from diesel-powered engines and equipment is one of the greatest air quality challenges facing the country. Even with more stringent engine standards in place for heavy-duty highway and nonroad vehicles and equipment, millions of diesel engines already in use will continue to emit large amounts of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), air toxics and greenhouse gases, which contribute to serious risks to public health and the environment. Each year, diesel emissions are linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks, millions of lost work days, and numerous other health and environmental impacts.

Accordingly, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has developed the Vermont Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program to help improve air quality and protect public health. 

Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment






Recent Vermont Diesel Emissions Reduction Awards

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Air Quality & Climate Division provides technical assistance and funding for projects to reduce emissions from diesel powered vehicles and equipment. 

DERA 2023 Awards

DERA 2022 Awards

DERA 2021 Awards

DERA 2020 Awards

DERA 2019 Awards

DERA 2018 Awards

DERA 2017 Awards

DERA 2016 Awards

DERA 2015 Awards

DERA 2014 Awards

DERA 2013 Awards

DERA 2012 Awards

To learn more about the grant opportunities available, the projects discussed above, or future projects, please contact Leigh Martin of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Air Quality & Climate Division at (802) 261-0713, or via e-mail at

More Diesel Emissions-Related Resources

Current Vermont Laws and Regulations

Vermont has several laws to reduce emissions from gas and diesel vehicles. They are:

  • Motor Vehicle Idling Law. Act 57 was signed into law in May 2013 and includes a provision that, effective May 1, 2014, will limit all motor vehicle idling to five minutes in any 60 minute period with some exceptions. 
  • School Bus Idling Rule on School Property. School buses shall not idle while picking up and dropping off children on school property. 
  • Unattended Motor Vehicle Law. This law was passed in 1973 to discourage vehicle theft, but also requires drivers to turn off their engine when parking while vehicle is not occupied. 
  • Smoky Truck Law. A commercial vehicle may be stopped and an inspection performed if it appears vehicle exhaust exceeds standard. 
  • Burlington's Idling Ordinance. With few exceptions, no person shall leave a vehicle idling for more than three minutes. 

Diesel Pollution and Health Effects

Diesel Pollution and Health Effects: According to a report issued in 2012 by the World Health Organization's International Agency on Research for Cancer, diesel exhaust causes cancer in humans. Dozens of studies link airborne particulate matter, such as those from diesel exhaust, to increased hospitalizations due to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease and pneumonia. For more information, click on the links below: