The Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction Program formed as a natural evolution of the Georgia Diesel Emissions Program and National Clean Diesel Campaign. Our purpose is to reduce diesel emissions from the legacy diesel fleet in Georgia. This is accomplished through education of fleet managers, the support of alternative fuels, installation of emission control devises, early replacement of diesel vehicles, rebuilding engines to a cleaner standard, and repowering. EPD pursues grant funding when available to fund these strategies.

Our purpose is to reduce diesel emissions from the legacy diesel fleet in Georgia..


The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD), The Clean Air Campaign, The Georgia Department of Transportation (GA DOT), The Georgia Department of Education (GA DOE), The Southeast Diesel Collaborative, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy have combined forces and resources to form the GADER Program.

The GaDER Program addresses air pollution from the full array of diesel engine applications.

Our History

The GaDER Program began as a pilot program designed to provide funding assistance to school systems in the twenty county metro Atlanta non-attainment area to reduce emissions from their school bus fleets. It was managed by the Engines and Fuels Unit of the Air Protection Branch of Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GA EPD). Grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus USA launched the program. With the success of retrofitting the initial 56 school buses in the metro Atlanta area, EPD applied for and received more funding to continue the program. Funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) and the Georgia Pacific Supplemental Environmental Program (GA Pacific SEP) provided funds for more retrofits. To date more that 3,000 school buses have been retrofitted through this program.

Outreach was a major component of the program since most of the grants require matching funds. For this reason, EPD partnered with the Georgia Conservancy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, The Clean Air Campaign and Mothers & Others for Clean Air to provide outreach assistance and technical support, helping school systems reach out to their communities to raise the necessary funds to retrofit their buses. The school systems in turn agreed to implement an emissions reduction plan, consisting of retrofitting existing buses, using best management practices, purchasing cleaner fuels, and purchasing cleaner school buses.

Since the initial pilot school bus retrofits, the GaDER Program has expanded to assist in reducing diesel emissions from other sources.

With a focus on reducing all sources of diesel emissions in Georgia, the GADER program not only encompasses the Georgia School Bus Retrofit initiative, but also assists with funding, and education assistance and outreach for voluntary measures such as idling reduction, Truck Stop Electrification, the use of cleaner fuels, and diesel emissions controls to rail yards, long haul and delivery truck fleets, construction equipment, and more.


Without partners, the GaDER Program couldn't exist. The following partners are vital to the continued success of this program.

View our partner list here.

With help from the GaDER Program, over 3000 Georgia school buses are running cleaner.