7 school districts awarded grants for bus retrofits

Posted on April 24, 2013

ST. LOUIS — Seven school districts in Jefferson County, Mo., will receive a total of $300,000 to retrofit diesel school buses to reduce emissions.

The funding comes from lead producer the Doe Run Co. as part of a 2010 settlement with the U.S. EPA.

Selected to receive grants are the Hillsboro, Jefferson R-VII, Windsor, Dunklin, De Soto, Grandview and Festus school districts.

The grant availability was announced earlier this year.

The retrofit program aims to reduce emissions by up to 90% on retrofitted buses. Through the grant application process, each school district requested funding for specific upgrades to its vehicles. Officials said that in most cases, districts needed assistance in reducing the amount of time buses spend idling in the winter.

Central States Bus Sales will perform the retrofits.

“During the cold months, school buses need to warm up for about one hour to keep students warm and to run effectively, which increases fuel costs and air emissions,” said Bill Schlueter, director of service and warranty at Central States. “By installing idle-reduction technology, an independent, direct-fired heater that operates on a timer will warm the engine and the cabin of the bus without running the engine, decreasing idle time from hours to just minutes each day.”

After Central States retrofits the engines, the school districts will be required to report emission reductions and other performance improvements.

Related Topics: emissions, idling reduction, Missouri

Comments ( 2 )
  • Dwight -- DSBSI ltd.

     | about 4 years ago

    The "stupidity of engineering" and the "justification of bean counters" in school bus manufacturing companies. What was originally needed in new school bus production was a simple $5.00 automotive type thermostat for the engine to not provide a sufficient volume of heated coolant into the school bus heating/defrosting system until the engine temperature reached 160F degrees and even then the flow is a proportionally reduced rate until the engine attains it's operating temperature. Low exhaust emissions and the engine remains at it's designed operating temperature and the school bus body interior remains at a warmer temperature and cleaner interior air with fresh outside air instead of constantly recirculated moist foul air. I installed a $4.00 manual version in a 1965 IHC/Superior school bus and have used it in every school bus purchased since. When presented to the head engineer of the major school bus manufacture, I was labeled a "futurist" because I was correcting a problem the industry didn't even know they had. AND NOW A FEW SCHOOLS IN A TEMPERATE AREA OF THE US RECEIVE A $3,000.00 GIFT PER BUS TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM.

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