JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has awarded $105,000 to seven school districts for new school buses for the upcoming school year. Each district was given a $15,000 grant toward the purchase of a new bus to replace an older bus.
The districts selected are:
• Amory School District, Amory, Miss.
• Greenville Public School District, Greenville, Miss.
• Holly Springs School District, Holly Springs, Miss.
• Pontotoc City School District, Pontotoc, Miss.
• Tupelo Public School District, Tupelo, Miss.
• Holmes County School District, Lexington, Miss.
• Monroe County School District, Amory, Miss.
“Because thousands of Mississippi children begin and end their days with a trip on a school bus, providing for clean school buses is an ongoing priority for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality,” Trudy Fisher, MDEQ executive director, said. “School buses are the safest and most efficient way to transport students, but we want to ensure that it’s a healthy trip.”
Reducing diesel emissions is currently one of the most important air quality challenges in Mississippi, according to MDEQ. Since 2009, through grants and the Mississippi School Bus Retrofit Project, MDEQ has retrofitted 1,931 school buses and provided partial funding for 10 new buses to reduce emissions of particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide. MDEQ has also encouraged school districts to adopt anti-idling policies; implementation of such a policy is a requirement for the seven districts that received funds for buses this year.