News Releases from Region 07
Nebraska School Districts Receive $90,000 to Clean Older Diesel Buses
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., Dec. 14, 2015) - Ord Public Schools in Ord, Neb., and Auburn Public Schools in Auburn, Neb., have been awarded a total of $90,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace or retrofit five older diesel school buses. Ord Public Schools was awarded $30,000 for two buses while Auburn Schools was awarded $60,000 for three buses.
The Nebraska awards are part of more than $7 million in rebates to replace or retrofit 400 older diesel school buses. The rebates are going to 85 school bus fleets in 35 states, each of which will receive rebates through EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The new and retrofitted buses will reduce pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that are linked to numerous health problems including asthma and lung damage.
"Schools and other organizations that install clean diesel technology are doing more than just saving money - they're creating cleaner, healthier air for children and all community residents," said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "This program continues to help thousands of children breathe easier and lead safer lives year after year."
This was EPA's third round of the rebate program aimed at replacing older diesel school buses. Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $25,000, depending on the size of the bus. This year, applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engine model years 1994 to 2006 with a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst plus Closed Crankcase Ventilation system (DOC plus CCV) to reduce toxic emissions. EPA will fully fund the cost of these devices up to $3,000.
EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and pre-date these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems. Nearly 17,000 of our country's schools are located within steps of a heavily-traveled road, potentially exposing more than 6 million children to traffic-related pollution at a time when their developing lungs are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.
Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 650 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 60,000 engines.