New school bus purchases are among the eligible uses of funds from a new round of Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants.

New school bus purchases are among the eligible uses of funds from a new round of Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new round of grants is available in the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Wednesday that about $40 million is available for projects to reduce emissions from older diesel engines. The agency expects to make between 20 and 80 awards for this competition.

“These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said. “EPA will continue to target funds to areas facing significant air quality issues.”

School buses are among the eligible vehicles, and school districts are among the eligible entities. So are nonprofit organizations that represent fleet operators.

The funds can be used to replace older diesel vehicles and engines, or to retrofit them with equipment to reduce emissions.

Since the first year of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has reportedly awarded funds to more than 730 projects across the U.S. The agency said that many of these grants funded cleaner diesel engines that operate in economically disadvantaged communities whose residents suffer from higher-than-average instances of asthma and heart and lung disease.

The DERA program has continued to benefit from broad bipartisan support in Congress.

“Steps to reduce emissions from older diesel trucks are some of the most cost-effective measures we can take to improve the air Americans breathe,” said U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.). “By prioritizing the DERA grant funding in regions that have some of our most complex air quality challenges, the resources being awarded can make a significant impact. I am pleased Congress was able to provide $40 million for these grants and appreciate the efforts of everyone at EPA in making it a success.”

For more information on the new round of grants, go here. Proposals must be submitted by June 12 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

About the author
Thomas McMahon

Thomas McMahon

Executive Editor

Thomas had covered the pupil transportation industry with School Bus Fleet since 2002. When he's not writing articles about yellow buses, he enjoys running long distances and making a joyful noise with his guitar.

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