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Awards $3 Million to Reduce Emissions from 76 School Bus Fleets Nationwide

Reposted on behalf of the EPA.

SAN FRANCISCO. Feb. 11, 2015. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding five California School Districts $325,000 and one Nevada School District $110,000 to replace eighteen older diesel school buses with new, clean buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner.  Nationwide, 76 recipients will receive rebates through EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace 210 school buses.

Nevada's recipient, the Washoe County School District, will replace five school buses.  California recipients will replace four buses in the Town Ride, Inc. of Arcadia Unified School District;  two buses for the Culver City Unified School District, one bus for the Enterprise Elementary School District in Redding, Calif., five buses for the Clovis Unified School District, and one bus for the Southern Humboldt Unified School District in Miranda, Calif.

In conjunction with “Love the Bus” month, which is dedicated to showing appreciation for school buses and their drivers, EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality Director Christopher Grundler joined the American School Bus Council (ASBC) at Tuckahoe Elementary School District in Arlington, Va., today to discuss the environmental benefits provided by new, clean diesel school buses. The ASBC estimates that each school bus takes approximately 36 cars off the road each day, which reduces emissions and saves fuel costs for passenger cars. 

The effort is part of the West Coast Collaborative, a clean air partnership that leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in impacted communities.  Along the West Coast, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington will receive a total of $755,000 in funding to replace polluting school buses. 

Americans put their children on school buses for a safe ride to school. They shouldn’t have to worry about harmful pollutants emitted from these buses,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.  “This funding will help keep our children safe and improve the health of those in communities across the country.”

“Reducing exposure to diesel pollution is important for everyone, particularly children,” said Jared Blumenfeld, administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region.  “This funding will improve air quality for children, one of our most sensitive populations.”

“Thanks to the EPA School Bus Replacement Rebate, the air in Washoe County will be cleaner for everyone, especially our students,” said Charlene Albee, Director of the Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division. “A cleaner fleet of school buses helps us work toward an overall healthy community.”

Applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list until a total of $3 million was allocated. This was EPA’s second round of the rebate program aimed at replacing older diesel school buses.  Public and private school bus fleets were eligible to apply for rebates for the replacement of school buses with engine model years of 2006 or older. 

Since 2008, the DERA program has funded over 600 clean diesel projects across the country. These projects have reduced emissions for more than 60,000 engines. DERA is set to expire in 2016.

EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

Reducing particulate matter emissions also reduces black carbon, which influences climate by directly absorbing light, reducing the reflectivity (“albedo”) of snow and ice through deposition, and interacting with clouds.

To view a list of the 2014 School Bus Replacement Rebate recipients, visit: http://epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate-schoolbus.htm#2014.

To learn more about the West Coast Collaborative and this year’s West Coast DERA school bus replacement projects, visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org  

Media Contact: Margot Perez-Sullivan, perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov