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September 13, 2012  |   Comments (10)   |   Post a comment

EPA offers $2M in rebates for school bus replacement

By Thomas McMahon


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The EPA’s first-ever rebate program will be a pilot focusing specifically on replacing older school buses with newer models.Photo by Shane Kirley

The EPA’s first-ever rebate program will be a pilot focusing specifically on replacing older school buses with newer models.
Photo by Shane Kirley

The U.S. EPA’s first-ever rebate program will be a pilot focusing specifically on replacing older school buses.

School districts and contractors will be among those eligible for the program, which will provide rebates ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

The EPA said that when the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) was reauthorized in January 2011, “a significant change in the reauthorization provided EPA with the authority to award rebates.”

For the inaugural school bus replacement program, $2 million is reserved.

Applicants must be a regional, state, local or tribal agency; school district; municipality; or private company operating school buses.

Here are the requirements for existing school buses:

• Diesel-powered
• Equipped with an engine model year of 1994 to 2003
• Accumulated at least 10,000 miles or has been in use for at least three days per week during the most recent school year
• Operational at the time of application
• Used to transport 10 or more pre-primary, primary or secondary school students to schools, homes or field trips

Replacement school buses must be engine model year 2011 or newer and can be powered by conventional diesel or alternative fuels. The applicant has to commit to operating the replacement bus for three years after receipt of the rebate in the same manner as the replaced bus.

Replaced buses must be scrapped, but equipment that isn't part of the engine or chassis (seats, tires, etc.) can be salvaged.

The EPA said it anticipates that the rebate application acceptance period will start in November. The agency said that it will make another announcement when the application period begins.

For more information, go here.


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Read more about: emissions, EPA, school bus replacement


Hello, everyone. The rebate application acceptance period has ended. If another program begins and we receive word about it, we will post a story about it on our website.

Kelly Roher, SBF editor    |    Jan 08, 2013 10:50 AM

Sounds Great, Please Keep Me Informed As to When Application Can Be Submitted. Thanks

Nathan    |    Jan 08, 2013 08:54 AM

Like the idea, I would like to know how to apply or get more information on this. Thanks

Tammy Dorrell    |    Jan 08, 2013 07:24 AM

How and where do we apply? This sounds great.

Bobbie    |    Jan 08, 2013 07:13 AM

Hello, How do I apply for a school bus rebate? Where do I get the form or application?

Susie Cisneros    |    Oct 12, 2012 03:26 PM

I like this idea, it definitely will help the smaller districts that can only afford 1 bus a year, and put money back into our schools for other repairs or equipment that's needed.

Jeff Graves    |    Sep 14, 2012 10:59 AM

Why should taxpayers be subsidizing Navistar? These rebates are a huge waste and inefficient allocation of taxpayer money, particularly when that same money could be deployed to retrofit TWICE as many older busses with emissions controls that would make them every bit as emission-clean as new buses. Actually when considering the total amount involved $150,000 for a new bus, you could retrofit 10 to 15 buses. Or you could reduce emissions 20% with just DOCs for 150 buses! This whole "new bus rebate" plan stinks, in my opinion.

Fred Dooling    |    Sep 14, 2012 07:38 AM

The stupidity of this rebate program reinforces the need to abolish the EPA. This is another example of wasted tax dollars which proves we don't need tax increases, but reduction in the size of government and government spending. The EPA is not GIVING anyone anything, but the taxpayers are being robbed. It's time we changed the way business is done in Washington.

Jerry W. Sistrunk    |    Sep 14, 2012 07:01 AM

I thing this is a good idea.With all the budget cuts, Small districts in Texas need all the help we can get.

mark lee    |    Sep 14, 2012 05:07 AM

A rebate program, in theory, is not necessarily a bad idea. But the criteria and amounts of money in this one, combined with only [thankfully]a $2M budget is one of the most idiotic programs I've seen in years. First of all, a brand-new fulls-size schoolbus barely costs $100,000; those you want to take off the street likely are worth $3,000 to $5,000 (and are typically sold to third-world purchasers, U.S. churches, etc.) Further, the buses you want off the street should only be used as "spares" in worst-case situations -- so the criterion of the bus needing to have traveled 10,000 miles the most recent school year is absurd. Thirdly, the West Coast is still saturated with 21-year-old or older Crowns and Gilligs, which will perhaps an engine change to a radically-less-polluting 2012 engine, are far more durable than the vehicles cited for the rebate program here, and might last for another 10 or 20 years. Fourth, if there is anything you want off the street it is a gasoline-powered schoolbus, not a diesel (pollution aside). Fifth, because this is an EPA program, it is obviously intended to get older, heavily-polluting engines off the street. But no criteria relate to safety or crashworthiness -- which is why the EPA should not be running a program like this. Sixth, there are not even any criteria for pollution-related deficiencies cited. Seventh, we have seen other boondoggles like this -- like the California Energy Commission's $60M "safe, clean schoolbus program, which evaluated the winners with no criterion whatsoever related to safety, and which, in fact, ended up purchasing 200 profoundly dangerous and maintenance-plagued methanol-powered buses that were scrapped altogether several years later. Taxpayers deserve less insipid programs for their hard-earned dollars. I would love to see NHTSA create and implement a responsible program on this theme, with enough resources to accomplish something. But our community should come out, in full force, against this ridicul

Ned Einstein    |    Sep 13, 2012 06:27 PM

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