DC Water Receives First 100% Biodiesel Vehicle from US EPA’s DERA Program Grant

DC Water Combo Vac Unit displayed at DC Department of Public Works Truck Touch on June 3, 2023.
June 21, 2023

DC Water has received its first of 12 B100 vehicles from the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program grant that will replace 13 existing diesel vehicles. The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) and DC Water secured the funds from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) DERA Program in 2021 to purchase 12 trucks equipped with Optimus’ revolutionary 100% biodiesel (B100) advanced fuel system technology. On May 18, 2023, a Combo Vac Unit was deployed with DC Water.

This is the first step in the DERA grant’s goal to retire 13 of DC Water’s diesel powered vehicles, replacing them with 12 B100 vehicles by the end of 2024. This effort is projected to reduce DC Water’s greenhouse gas emissions by 76%  (98.3 metric tons), the equivalent of removing 21.4 passenger cars or planting 1,625 trees. In addition, the project will reduce harmful particulate matter known to cause cancer, asthma, and lung-related issues by 97%. The vehicles will also reduce nitrogen oxides (known to cause low level ozone damage) by 94% among other harmful air emissions. Implemented across 31 zip codes in Washington, D.C., this project will reduce U.S. dependence on imported petroleum, demonstrate cost–effective energy efficiency, and improve air quality in the District and greater Washington region.

Maureen Holman, Vice President of Shared Services for DC Water, said, “We are thankful to the EPA for providing the grant funding and the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition for partnering with us to add these clean energy vehicles to our fleet. They will help us further reduce our carbon footprint and support our strategic imperative to be a more sustainable organization.”

Antoine M. Thompson, GWRCCC Executive Director, added, “transitioning large fleets in the region to clean transportation fuels takes time, but the greater Washington region will be a cleaner, healthier place because of it. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions improves health outcomes for some of the DMV’s most at risk, reducing the likelihood of negative health implications from carbon and diesel emissions. GWRCCC is excited to see tangible results of our partnership with DC Water and the EPA come to fruition.” 

Other project partners include fuel supplier – Chevron/Renewable Energy Group (REG), and public outreach partners – Metropolitan Washington Council of Government, the Clean Fuels Alliance Foundation, and the National Biodiesel Board.

Media Contacts:

John Lisle, VP, Marketing and Communications, DC Water
(202) 787-2616

Antoine Thompson, Executive Director, GWRCCC
(202) 671-1580


DC Water provides more than 700,000 residents and 21.3 million annual visitors in the District of Columbia with retail water and wastewater (sewer) service. With a total service area of approximately 725 square miles, DC Water also treats wastewater for approximately 1.6 million people in neighboring jurisdictions, including Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia. dcwater.com  

Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC), focused on the Washington, D.C. metro area, is one of nearly 80 coalitions in the U.S. that fosters economic, environmental, and energy security by working locally to advance affordable, domestic transportation fuels, energy efficient mobility systems, and other fuel-saving technologies and practices. Find out more at gwrccc.org.