The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is announcing the availability of approximately $7 million in funding for rebates to public and private school bus fleet owners for the replacement and retrofit of older school buses. This is the third rebate program offered under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) to fund cleaner school buses.
Many of the nation’s school buses are powered by diesel engines. EPA standards for new diesel engines make them more than 90% cleaner than older ones, but many older diesel engines remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large quantities of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). These pollutants are linked to aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.
New to this year’s program is the option of implementing retrofit technologies. Fleet owners can now install diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC) plus closed crankcase ventilation (CCV) systems to reduce emissions by up to 25%. They can also replace older buses with newer ones that meet the latest on-highway emission standards as in previous EPA rebate programs.
EPA will pay up to $3,000 for each DOC plus CCV, and between $15,000 and $25,000 per replacement bus, depending on the size. Applicants may request up to ten buses for replacement and up to ten buses for the retrofit option per application. Fleets with more than 101 buses currently in operation may submit two applications.
Public school bus fleets and those owned privately but contracted with a public school system are eligible to apply for rebates to replace school buses with engine model years of 2006 or older. They may also apply to install DOC plus CCV technology on school buses with engine model years 1994-2006. EPA will accept applications from September 28 to October 30, 2015.
Since 2008, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act has provided funding for many emission reduction projects across the United States. The West Coast Collaborative States have received more than $115 million in DERA funding, and leveraged over $145 million from public and private partners. These projects have clean up over 7,900 engines, and reduced 400 tons/year of particular matter, 6,800 tons/year of NOx, and 400,000 tons/year CO2. Reducing particulate matter emissions reduces black carbon, which influences climate by directly absorbing light, reducing the reflectivity (“albedo”) of snow and ice through deposition, and interacting with clouds.
To learn more about the rebate program, applicant eligibility and selection process, and informational webinar dates, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates#2015sb
To learn more about the West Coast Collaborative DERA school bus replacement projects, visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org
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