Wednesday, March 14, 2018

EPA Awards Clean-Bus Funding to Schools in 32 States

EPA Retrofits Buses

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded more than $8.7 million to replace or upgrade 452 diesel school buses in 32 states. Part of its Clean School Bus USA program, the new and improved buses will reduce pollutants and emissions.

The bus improvements are funded through rebates from the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Districts replacing buses with outdated diesel engines will receive $15,000 to $20,000 per bus. For districts that choose to retrofit their buses, EPA will fund the cost of improvements up to $6,000 per bus.

"These rebates are an innovative way to improve air quality across the country and provide kids with safe, reliable transportation to and from school. Through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, EPA is equipping local school districts with cleaner-running school buses, helping them along the route to healthier kids and communities," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a recent press release.

Since 2003, DERA and the Clean School Bus program have worked together to make environmentally-friendlier school buses. Older diesel engines emit pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and other particulates which have been linked to respiratory illnesses such as asthma. DERA has funded more than 700 clean diesel projects nationwide and reduced toxic emissions in more than 70,000 engines.

"The National School Transportation Associate (NSTA) and private school bus contractors around the country congratulates EPA and those receiving rebate awards for the purchase or new clean vehicles and equipment. On behalf of private school bus companies serving school districts around the country, we have strongly supported the DERA program. It is another way we can provide the safest and cleanest form of transportation for our precious cargo of school children and for the communities they live in," NSTA President Blake Krapf said in a recent press release.

School districts in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas were among the recipients. To learn more about DERA, visit EPA's website. To learn more about environmental science and how to get involved in this field, visit Zack Academy's Environmental Science homepage.

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