The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced new funding will be made available for the replacement of school buses, which it states will ‘allow for significant air quality improvements’ in certain states. The EPA continues to state that this will be achieved by replacing older diesel buses with newer, more efficient clean diesel models.
The agency announced the awarding of US$7.7m to replace or retrofit 401 older diesel school buses in 27 states under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).
“These funds will enable school districts to acquire the most advanced, reliable and efficient technology that will deliver kids to school in clean air and energy-saving style,” said Allen Schaeffer, the executive director, of the Diesel Technology Forum. “We expect that like in previous years, over 90% of these transit agencies will choose clean diesel over other fuel types. New clean diesel buses have advanced to the point that they have reduced NOx and particulate matter emissions by as much as 95% compared to the older buses they will replace”.
The rebate program is a component of DERA that helps eligible school districts and school transportation providers to help defray the cost of scrapping older buses and purchase new clean vehicles. The rebate program provides up to US$25,000 to replace the largest school buses. Rebate funding provides only a share of the total cost of a new school bus purchase. The program is enormously popular as applicants reportedly requested US$44m in funding assistance, despite only US$7.7m being available in funding.