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EPA Rebate Will Help Arlington, Vermont Purchase a Clean Diesel School Bus

Release Date: 03/04/2016
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

BOSTON – The Arlington School District, in southwest Vermont, was selected to receive a $20,000 rebate to help pay for a new school bus that will emit less pollution than older buses currently in use. This funding was made available under EPA’s Clean Diesel Program.

The funds are part of approximately $925,000 that are being awarded to school bus providers in New England to replace 46 buses, in 12 fleets, and of more than $7 million in rebates nationwide to replace or retrofit 400 older diesel school buses in 85 fleets across 35 states.

“Investing in clean diesel school buses will help ensure cleaner air for our children and for all community members,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Thanks to the Clean Diesel Program, thousands of children can breathe easier and enjoy better health.”

“Arlington School District's goal is to replace buses ten years and older,” said Superintendent Judy Pullinen. “This rebate helps us replace a 2001 bus in a tough budget year, which might otherwise not have happened. We are delighted to be the recipients of this program.”

Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.

In 2007, EPA put into effect standards to make newer on-road diesel engines, including school buses, more than 90 percent cleaner. However, many older diesel school buses remain in operation and pre-date these standards. The Clean Diesel Program along with other programs under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, work to accelerate turnover of the national diesel fleet by taking older, more polluting engines out of service.

This was EPA’s third round of the School Bus Rebate Program. Applicants were able to apply for rebates to replace buses or retrofit them with pollution control devices. For replacements, between $15,000 and $25,000 per bus was awarded, depending on the size of the bus, to replace buses with engine model years 2006 and older. New this year, applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engines from model years between 1994 to 2006 with diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase ventilation systems to reduce toxic emissions. EPA will fund the purchase and installation of these devices, up to $3,000. Applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list until all funds for the program were allocated.

The other New England 2015 school bus rebate recipients were in Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts. Nationally since 2008, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program has funded more than 650 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions from more than 60,000 engines.

Additionally, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program is currently soliciting funding proposals for projects that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions, particularly from fleets operating in areas designated as poor air quality areas. Proposals are due on Tuesday, April 26.

More information:

- Current DERA grant opportunity (closes April 26, 2016): http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants#rfp

- EPA’s diesel rebate program http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates

- Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel

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