In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 23 awarded $100,000 to replace five older school buses in Delaware.
The funds are among $11.5 million to replace 580 older diesel school buses in 157 fleets in 43 states and Puerto Rico, each of which will receive rebates through EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding. The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.
In Delaware, the funds will go to Hill’s Bus Service, which services Milford School District, $20,000, and Sutton Bus and Truck Company Inc., which services Red Clay Consolidated School District, $80,000.
“As we continue to celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, EPA continues to be committed to providing communities access to rebates to improve and replace aging school buses that will improve air quality across the country and provide children with a safe and healthy way to get to school,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “While many fleets are currently off the road as we all social distance during COVID-19, these local school districts will start up again, and EPA is proud to have helped equip them with cleaner running buses.”
“With all the challenges our public schools face, DERA helps school districts replace their old school buses with new ones that are more cost-effective and meet standards for reduced emissions, which means cleaner air,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This 50th Earth Day is a great opportunity to highlight how this program has been a boon for both local taxpayers and the environment.”
Applicants replacing buses with engine model years 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000 per bus, depending on the size of the bus.
EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90% cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. These 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.
Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 1,000 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 70,000 engines.
For more, visit epa.gov/cleandiesel.