WAREHAM, Mass. -- Two towns and a public school district in Massachusetts have been selected to receive a total of $240,000 in rebates to help pay for 12 new school buses that emit less pollution than the older buses currently in use. This funding was made available under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Diesel Program.
Funding will be awarded to the communities of Wareham, Dartmouth and Swansea. The bus operators selected were:
- The town of Wareham, which will receive $200,000 to replace 10 buses
- The town of Dartmouth, which will receive $20,000 to replace one bus;
- Swansea Public Schools, which will receive $20,000 to replace one buses.
These funds are part of nearly $885,000 that will be awarded to school bus providers in New England to replace 49 buses, in 12 fleets, and of more than $7 million in rebates nationwide to replace or retrofit 400 older diesel school buses in 85 fleets across 35 states.
"Investing in clean diesel school buses will help ensure cleaner air for our children and for all community members," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Thanks to the Clean Diesel Program, thousands of children can breathe easier and enjoy better health."
Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.
In 2007, EPA put into effect standards to make newer on-road diesel engines, including school buses, more than 90 percent cleaner. However many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate these standards. The Clean Diesel Program along with other programs under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, work to accelerate turnover of the national diesel fleet by taking older, more polluting engines out of service.
This was EPA's third round of the School Bus Rebate Program. Applicants were able to apply for rebates to replace buses or retrofit them with pollution control devices. For replacements, between $15,000 and $25,000 per bus was awarded, depending on the size of the bus, to replace buses with engine model years 2006 and older. New this year, applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engines from model years between 1994 to 2006 with diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase ventilation systems to reduce toxic emissions. EPA will fund the purchase and installation of these devices, up to $3,000. Applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list until all funds for the program were allocated.
SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency