The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making $7 million available to public school bus fleet owners in the Midwest states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska to help them replace or retrofit older school buses. Upgrading buses with older engines reduces diesel emissions and improves air quality.
“Modernizing school bus fleets across the country with retrofits, replacements, and idle reduction practices helps reduce children’s exposure to air toxics,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “With the amount of time kids spend on buses, we need to protect them from the harm older diesel engines can cause.”
EPA standards for new diesel engines make them more than 90 percent cleaner than older ones, but many older diesel engines still in operation predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large quantities of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which have been linked to serious health problems such as aggravated asthma and lung damage.
For the purpose of the 2016 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding Opportunity, a school bus is defined as a vehicle primarily used for the purpose of transporting 10 or more preprimary, primary, or secondary school students to schools or homes.
Vehicles listed for replacement must be:
- Diesel-powered school buses powered by a 2006 or older engine model year;
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 lbs or above;
- Able to start, move in all directions, and have all operational parts; and
- Have accumulated at least 10,000 or more miles transporting students over the most recent 12 months, or been in use for at least three days per week transporting students during the current school year.
Alternative fuel buses, embracing natural gas fuel, are amongst the options that qualify for funding support.
EPA will accept applications from Sept. 29 to Nov. 1, 2016.
For more information, click here.
(Source: U.S. EPA)