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August 16, 2010  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

EPA bestows funds for bus replacements, retrofits


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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — More than $5.1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funds have been granted to six organizations to reduce diesel emissions output by vehicles in EPA Region 7. Four of the organizations will use the money for school bus-related projects.

The funds are part of $64 million allocated nationwide this fiscal year through DERA’s grant program. Through the DERA, the EPA provides support for retrofits, engine upgrades, vehicle replacements, idle reduction, cleaner burning fuels, and financing for clean technologies for trucks, buses and non-road equipment.

The National School Transportation Association will receive $362,642 for vehicle replacements in Richmond and Perry County, Mo., that meet EPA 2010 emission standards. The grant will also fund the installation of 45 fuel-operated heaters to school buses, which will reduce idle time. The federal grant, along with $243,142 in mandatory cost shares brings the total amount of improvements to reduce diesel emissions to $605,784.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has been selected to receive more than $1.8 million with a state cost share of $382,425. This grant will aid in improvements to school buses, trash trucks and concrete mixers, as well as switch engine locomotives in Springfield, St. Louis and Kansas City. The improvements will include vehicle replacements, installing diesel oxidation catalysts on vehicles and/or the addition of anti-idling technologies to cut diesel emissions.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment will receive $233,218 to assist with school bus upgrades and the installation of three APUs on long-haul trucks in Wichita. The grant, paired with $45,394 in state matching funds, will also allow APUs to be installed in five in-town trucks. A construction repower and upgrade project will also be completed in the Kansas City area.

Finally, $190,000 will be allocated to the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi and it will match that amount in mandatory cost shares. The grant will assist in the replacement of four school buses for the community at the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa.

A $1 million grant will be given to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association of Grain Valley, Mo., while the Passenger Vessel Association will receive almost $1.5 million to reduce maritime engine emissions in Branson, Mo.

Funding for this year’s grants is provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Since Congress first appropriated funds under this program, 279 grants totaling nearly $350 million have been awarded. A total of 119 grants were awarded with fiscal year 2008 funding ($49.2 million) and 160 have been awarded since then with Recovery Act funding ($300 million).


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