Early December, the South Coast Air Management District (SCAQMD) awarded more than USD 40 million to help replace 146 diesel school buses across the Southland and about 400 older diesel trucks operating primarily at the ports and in other goods movement activities. 128 of the 146 school buses will be replaced with natural gas vehicles. With today’s awards, AQMD has now funded the replacement of more than 1,100 older diesel school buses and over 2,500 older diesel trucks with cleaner, lower-emission models.
“Diesel soot remains a serious health threat and accelerating the transition to cleaner vehicle fleets is one important way we can help protect public health,” said Dennis Yates, vice chairman of AQMD’s Governing Board. “Today’s award helps get some of the dirtiest diesel trucks and school buses off Southland roadways.”
Today’s action provides more than $21 million to 11 school districts across the Southland to replace a total of 128 pre-1994 and 18 pre-1987 diesel school buses with cleaner-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) and propane school buses. 70 of the school buses come from the Los Angeles School District, which will receive almost USD 11.9 million.
The new lower-emission school buses are substantially cleaner than the older diesel buses they replace. The new buses also emit no diesel soot, which is the source of about 84 percent of all air pollution cancer risk in the region.
More than $19 million has also been provided to replace almost 400 older diesel trucks operating primarily at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and in other goods movement related activities. Heavy-duty trucks are one of the largest sources of smog-forming nitrogen oxides in Southern California.
Funding comes from voter-approved Proposition 1B which provides funds to replace older diesel trucks and school buses. Additional funding for school bus replacements comes from the U.S. EPA and the state’s Carl Moyer Program.
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.