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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in celebration of Children’s Health Month, announced the availability of approximately $10 million in rebates to public school bus fleet owners for replacing older school buses, helping improve air quality in communities and better protect children’s health.
From 2017-2020, more than $32 million is expected to be awarded, helping to replace or retrofit more than 1,700 school buses across the country.
“The Trump Administration is improving school bus fleets across the country with retrofits, replacements, and idle reduction practices. These improvements are critical to meeting the Agency’s goal of reducing children’s exposure to air toxics,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
“This Diesel Emmission Reduction Act (DERA) funding reflects our ongoing commitment to ensure children live, learn, and play in healthy and clean environments.”
New diesel engines meeting EPA standards are more than 90% cleaner than older ones. Many older diesel engines that predate these standards, however, are still in operation.
Older diesel engines emit large quantities of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), pollutants which have been linked to serious health problems such as aggravated asthma and lung damage.
Every year, the nation’s 450,000 public school buses travel more than 4.3 billion miles transporting students to and from school and other activities, providing the safest transportation for nearly 24 million American schoolchildren.
However, exhaust from diesel buses can harm health, especially in children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.
This is the eighth rebate program to fund cleaner school buses offered under Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) appropriations. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for over 2,000 school buses to date.
EPA is accepting applications until October 30, 2020. Questions about applying may be directed to DERA@epa.gov.