Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program Fact Sheet & Guidelines


This Fact Sheet & Guidelines document addresses the types of projects eligible for funding.

Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program

As part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Clean Diesel Campaign and the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, the Illinois EPA administers the Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program. The goal of this program is to reduce particulate matter emissions and other pollutants from diesel-powered vehicles and to help improve air quality.

Diesel engines often have long service lives and can be rebuilt. There are many engines still in use that were certified to less stringent emission standards in effect at the time of their manufacture and lack the advanced emission controls in existence today. Engines manufactured as recently as 2006 do not have the most advanced technologies to reduce emissions. The engine manufacturers, diesel retrofit product manufacturers, and the associated diesel retailers offer various types of engine retrofit technologies designed to reduce the emissions of existing diesel vehicles and equipment. A few of these after-market equipment options are also designed to reduce fuel consumption and improve operational efficiencies resulting in cost-savings benefits.

Application/Project Information

1. Applicant Eligibility

The applicants eligible for this program include organizations in Illinois that operate diesel vehicles and off-road equipment, including, but not limited to:

  • Local units of government;
  • School districts and school bus companies;
  • Colleges and universities;
  • Mass transit districts;
  • Businesses; and
  • Non-profit organizations

Generally, eligible applicants for the Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program must be

  • Located in Illinois;
  • The diesel vehicles or equipment must be domiciled in Illinois; and
  • The vehicles and equipment must be primarily driven or operated in Illinois.

2. Types of Eligible Vehicles

The types of diesel vehicles that the Illinois EPA is looking to fund for clean diesel projects in the
Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program include, but may not be limited to:

  • Medium- and heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks
  • Transit and school buses
  • Marine vessels, including tug boats
  • Other nonroad equipment, including construction, airport, and rail yard equipment
  • Diesel vehicles or equipment that will remain in service in the fleet for several years after the completion of the project

3. Types of Retrofit Equipment and Technologies

  • Direct-Fired Heaters (DFH) for school buses (idle reduction equipment)
  • Engine Repowers or Engine Upgrades to higher U.S. EPA tier levels for off-road equipment units
  • Other types of retrofit equipment and technologies deemed eligible by the applicable funding source may be considered 

4. Funding

  • The Current Funding page will provide information on the types of projects the Illinois EPA is currently looking for, the geographic areas of the State in which funds can be spent (e.g., air quality nonattainment areas), and the amount of grant monies available for certain projects.
  • The Illinois EPA has the right to “trim down” or otherwise modify a project proposal outlined on an application so that it matches our current funding resources or criteria.  If this is the case, we will contact the applicant in advance to make sure that any proposal changes are agreed upon and will still meet the applicant’s operational needs.

Completing the Application

  • Read the “Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program Application Instructions,” and complete the Illinois Clean Diesel Grant Program Application Form and Vehicle Information Spreadsheet.
  • Send a copy of the vendor’s “cost quote” with the completed application materials.  The cost quote/project estimate should include the unit cost, the installation cost, and the total cost.

Processing the Application

  • The Illinois EPA will send approved applicants a “Grant Agreement” and other documents that will need to be completed and returned via mail or email.
  • After the Grant Agreement is signed by the applicant and the Illinois EPA, a copy will be sent to the applicant, along with a Project Confirmation Letter.  This letter will inform the applicant that they may proceed with the project per the Grant Agreement. The applicant is NOT to make any purchases and start the project until after the Grant Agreement has been signed and a Project Confirmation Letter has been issued by the Illinois EPA.

Receiving the Grant

  • When the work on the project is fully completed, the final invoice(s) is to be sent to the Illinois EPA showing that the units were purchased and, if applicable, installed.  The invoice should accompany a brief letter or email from the applicant noting that the work is completed and that the applicant is requesting the grant reimbursement.
  • For most types of projects, the vendor will need to complete a Certification of Installation form to be forwarded to the Illinois EPA.
  • For engine repower projects involving scrappage, Illinois EPA staff will inform the applicant on the needed documentation to satisfy the project requirements prior to the grant being disbursed.
  • The Illinois EPA will begin processing the grant upon receipt of the final invoice, Certification of Installation form, and any other required documentation that may be specific to the type of project.