The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded more than $9.3 million to replace 473 older diesel school buses. The funds are going to 145 school bus fleets in 43 states or territories, each of which will receive rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.
There were a total of six applications selected in EPA Region 2 with winners in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico for rebate funds to assist in replacing old diesel school buses to achieve significant reductions in student’s exposure to harmful emissions. The six selected applicants propose replacing a total of thirty-nine buses at a total rebate funding amount of $725,000.
“Children’s health is a top priority for EPA, and these grants will help provide cleaner air and a healthier ride to and from school for America’s children,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This DERA funding reflects our broader children’s health agenda and commitment to ensure all children can live, learn, and play in healthy and clean environments.”
In New Jersey, four applicants were selected. North Brunswick Township Board of Education, in North Brunswick was selected to replace three school buses for a total rebate funding amount of $55,000. Toms River Regional Schools, in Toms River was selected to replace ten school buses for a total rebate funding amount of $200,000. Wall Township Board of Education, in Wall was selected to replace five school buses for a total rebate funding amount of $100,000. George Dapper, Inc., in Iselin was selected to replace ten school buses for a total rebate funding amount of $200,000.
Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the bus. Regional, state, or tribal agencies including school districts and municipalities, or private entities that operate school buses under contract with state, tribal or local agencies were eligible to apply.
Over the last seven years, EPA has awarded approximately $39 million in rebates to replace almost 2,000 school buses. Bus replacements funded through the rebate program reduce emissions and exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides for children at schools, bus stops, and on the buses themselves.