SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $465,000 to the Marana Unified School District in Arizona to replace or retrofit 20 older diesel school buses. Funded through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, the new and updated buses will emit less air pollution.
"Reducing exposure to diesel pollution particularly benefits children, as their lungs are still developing," said Alexis Strauss, Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "This funding will improve air quality for students as they travel to and from school."
EPA has implemented standards to make new diesel engines over 90 percent cleaner, but many school buses with older diesel engines still operate. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems.
Nationwide, 88 communities in 27 states will receive more than $7.7 million in rebates through Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding, resulting in 401 cleaner school buses. Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $25,000, depending on the size of the bus. Applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engine model years between 1994 to 2006 with a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst plus Closed Crankcase Ventilation system to reduce toxic emissions. EPA will fully fund the cost of these devices up to $4,000.
Since 2008, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program has funded more than 700 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 70,000 engines.