WASHINGTON, D.C. — Another round of rebates — $7 million in all — is being made available to help fleets replace or retrofit older diesel school buses, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Thursday.
This is the fourth rebate program to fund cleaner school buses under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) reauthorization. The EPA will accept applications for the new round of rebates from Sept. 29 to Nov. 1.
School districts and school bus contractors are among the eligible entities. Rebates for replacing older buses with new buses range from $15,000 to $25,000 per bus. Retrofits can qualify for up to $4,000 for a diesel oxidation catalyst and closed crankcase ventilation system, or up to $6,000 for those devices plus a fuel-operated heater.
The funds will help improve air quality, according to the EPA.
"Modernizing school bus fleets across the country with retrofits, replacements, and idle reduction practices helps reduce children’s exposure to air toxics,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “With the amount of time kids spend on buses, we need to protect them from the harm older diesel engines can cause.”
EPA standards for new diesel engines make them more than 90% cleaner than older ones, according to the agency, but many older diesel engines that are still in operation predate these standards.
According to the EPA, nearly 25,000 buses across the country have been made cleaner as a result of DERA funding.