The U.S. EPA’s first-ever rebate program will be a pilot focusing specifically on replacing older school buses.

School districts and contractors will be among those eligible for the program, which will provide rebates ranging from $20,000 to $30,000.

The EPA said that when the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) was reauthorized in January 2011, “a significant change in the reauthorization provided EPA with the authority to award rebates.”

For the inaugural school bus replacement program, $2 million is reserved.

Applicants must be a regional, state, local or tribal agency; school district; municipality; or private company operating school buses.

Here are the requirements for existing school buses:

• Diesel-powered
• Equipped with an engine model year of 1994 to 2003
• Accumulated at least 10,000 miles or has been in use for at least three days per week during the most recent school year
• Operational at the time of application
• Used to transport 10 or more pre-primary, primary or secondary school students to schools, homes or field trips

Replacement school buses must be engine model year 2011 or newer and can be powered by conventional diesel or alternative fuels. The applicant has to commit to operating the replacement bus for three years after receipt of the rebate in the same manner as the replaced bus.

Replaced buses must be scrapped, but equipment that isn't part of the engine or chassis (seats, tires, etc.) can be salvaged.

The EPA said it anticipates that the rebate application acceptance period will start in November. The agency said that it will make another announcement when the application period begins.

For more information, go here.

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