EPA Diesel Grant to Upgrade School Buses in Delaware

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Posted: Monday, October 9, 2017 1:38 pm | Updated: 2:14 pm, Mon Oct 9, 2017.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The U.S Environmental Protection Agency announced a $224,165 Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant to support the replacement of school buses that serve children across the state of Delaware.

The grant to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will be used to replace nine older diesel school buses with two new clean diesel buses and seven new propane-powered models.

"Delaware’s efforts to transform its school bus fleet with new technology not only provides environmental and health benefits, but cost-effectiveness as well," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "This project to reduce harmful diesel emissions is a great example of how collaboration between federal and state partners can make a real difference in our local communities."

"The new buses will enable Delaware to improve air quality, which has health benefits," said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. "The DERA grant covers 25 percent of the cost of replacing the older buses, with 75 percent match by school transportation providers in the Cape Henlopen, Delmar, Milford, and Woodbridge School Districts, and with Hodgson Vo-Tech. DNREC is pleased to partner with the transportation providers and applauds their commitment to protecting the health and welfare of Delawareans, especially our younger citizens."

EPA estimates that lifetime emission reductions from these upgrades will include 57.2 tons of nitrogen oxide, 7.2 tons of particulate matter, nine tons of hydrocarbons and 11.8 tons of carbon monoxide.

Older, more polluting school buses can lead to health risks for students who typically ride these buses for 30 minutes to two hours a day. Children are more susceptible to air pollution than healthy adults because their respiratory systems are still developing and they take in more air per pound of body weight than adults, making their exposure to pollution proportionately higher.

Asthma, which affects 6.3 million American school children, is the most common long-term childhood disease in America, making newer, cleaner buses an urgent priority.

In addition to affecting the health of students, emissions from older buses can have a negative impact on the whole community.

Since 2008, the DERA program has awarded more than 700 grants across the country in 600 communities. These projects have reduced emissions from more than 60,000 engines.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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