The U.S. EPA on Tuesday awarded $325,000 to five California school districts to replace older diesel school buses.

The 13 older buses will be replaced with new buses that are more than 90% cleaner, according to the EPA.

The California recipients are:

• Town Ride Inc. of Arcadia Unified School District
• Culver City Unified School District
• Enterprise Elementary School District in Redding
• Clovis Unified School District
• Southern Humboldt Unified School District in Miranda

The California districts are among 76 recipients nationwide that will receive rebates through the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace 210 school buses. Applicants were randomly selected until a total of $3 million was allocated.

“Americans put their children on school buses for a safe ride to school. They shouldn’t have to worry about harmful pollutants emitted from these buses,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

“This funding will improve air quality for children, one of our most sensitive populations,” added Jared Blumenfeld, administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.

Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 600 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions for more than 60,000 engines, according to the EPA. DERA is set to expire in 2016.

The California effort is part of the West Coast Collaborative, a clean air partnership that leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in impacted communities.

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