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Good News: EPA Now Accepting Applications for Rebates Program to Replace Dirty Diesel Buses

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality has announced a funding opportunity to clean up school bus fleets that serve public schools.

“School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day,” the EPA website explains. “However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.”

The office is now accepting applications nationwide for rebates to assist in replacing older, dirtier diesel school buses with new school buses certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards.

EPA anticipates awarding more than $10 million through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program. Selected applicants that scrap and replace their old diesel buses will receive a rebate of $20,000-$65,000 per bus depending on the fuel type of the replacement bus.

Here’s what you need to know if you want to apply:

  • Regional, state or tribal agencies including school districts and municipalities are eligible
  • Also eligible are private entities that operate school buses under a contract with school districts and municipalities
  • Applications are limited to 10 buses.
  • Fleets that own more than 100 buses can submit two applications.

Rebate recipients will be selected via lottery, with at least one selected from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool.

“While we know that particulate pollution from dirty diesel poses one of the greatest cancer risks of any toxic outdoor air pollutant, replacing school bus fleets is an expensive endeavor,” GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippin said. “GASP hopes local school districts and bus companies take advantage of this opportunity to help them make their transportation operations cleaner and healthier for the precious cargo they transport each day.”

Editor’s Note: You can learn more about the dangers of diesel in our one-page FAQ.

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