The EPA announced that it awarded $30 million in total funds tied to its National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, which will result in hundreds of older school buses being replaced with newer models or retrofitted with emission control systems.
In addition to school buses, the grant funds are designated for adding retrofit, idle-reduction, aerodynamic and energy replacement and repower technologies for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, marine engines, locomotives and non-road agricultural, cargo, construction, mining and energy fleets.
Ten states will be affected on the school bus side. The Colorado Department of Health won $700,000 to equip diesel oxidation catalysts, crankcase filtration systems and fuel-operated heaters in 186 school buses. Meanwhile, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality will receive $290,000 to install pollution control devices on a dozen school buses.
The Leonardo Academy, a nonprofit sustainability organization, won $1 million, a portion of which will go to retrofitting school buses in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Minnesota with exhaust controls and engine heaters to reduce emissions. The nonprofit Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision will also receive $1 million that will in part go to replacing or repowering school buses as well as short-haul trucks, construction vehicles and utility and municipal fleets.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection was the third largest total grant winner with an award of $1.39 million. The state will replace four diesel school buses with CNG buses. It will also repower two marine vessels with auxiliary engines.
Twenty-seven school buses in Missouri are among the vehicle replacements that will occur as a result of a $282,000 grant awarded to the Ozarks Clean Air Alliance that serves the Springfield area and Greene County. Rounding out the school bus awards is $450,000 that is headed to the Sioux Falls (S.D.) School District to replace 18 school buses and $1.04 million to the Aldine (Texas) Independent School District to retrofit 65 school buses with diesel particulate filters.
School districts, municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations, cities and counties are all eligible entities under the EPA's assistance agreement program. Last month, the EPA said it is also granting a total of $2 million this fall to fund the replacement of older, diesel-powered school buses, a new pilot program that is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).