CHARLESTON, S.C. — During a presentation at the National School Transportation Association's (NSTA) annual meeting here this week, Karl Simon, director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Office's Transportation and Climate Division, announced that EPA would provide another $3 million in rebates for the purchase of new school buses.
The funds are a part of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), which provides funding for improvements to the nation's school bus fleet, intended to help reduce emissions of particulate matter and other pollutants. EPA provided $2 million in 2012 for school bus purchase rebates, and the program received over 1,000 applications for the 28 awards made.

Rebates provide access to funding for the purchase of new vehicles with a minimum of red tape, NSTA officials said. With the reduced administrative burden, awards are made quickly using a random selection process. EPA anticipates starting the process in the fall, with awards following quickly thereafter. The funds are available to state, local and privately contracted school bus operators.  

"We are pleased to see that the EPA found this program as successful as we did,” NSTA President Tim Flood said. “The ease in the administrative burden creates a better environment for all, allowing for more money to be available for the purchase of newer, cleaner buses. We commend EPA for improving the way this program is administered and for their continued support of cleaner vehicles."

"We are looking forward to once again offering a rebate program that provides funding to replace older school buses ahead of schedule," Simon said. "This program reduces harmful emissions, improves fuel economy for the school bus fleet, and improves air quality for children who ride buses every day."

In addition to announcing the 2014 rebate program, Simon assisted in recognizing the recipients of NSTA's "Go Yellow, Go Green" award, which commends school bus contractors for their achievements in emission reductions and sustainability, as well as those contractors that meet NSTA Green Fleet Certifications, which were developed in cooperation with and recognized by EPA's Clean School Bus program.

To get updates about the 2014 rebate program, go here.