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News Releases from Region 01

EPA Rebates Will Fund Cleaner School Buses in Six Connecticut Communities

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Public Affairs

Two public schools and four school bus service providers in Connecticut have been selected to receive a total of $525,000 in rebates to help pay for 31 new school buses that emit less pollution than the older buses they now use. This funding was made available through EPA's Clean Diesel Program.

This funding will go towards buses in the communities of Bethany, Canton, Killingly, Oakdale, Waterbury and New Britain. The bus operators chosen were:

B and B Transportation in Bethany, which will receive $60,000 to replace three buses;
Martel Transport in Canton, which will receive $40,000 to replace two buses;
Killingly Public Schools, which will receive $70,000 to replace three buses;
Montville Public Schools in Oakdale, which will receive $55,000 to replace three buses;
All Star Transportation of Waterbury, which will receive $200,000 to replace 10 buses; and
DATTCO Inc. of New Britain, which will receive $200,000 to replace 10 buses.

This is part of the nearly $1.1 million that will be awarded to school bus service 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."

"This program literally helps clear the air on pollutants emitting from school busses," said Senator Blumenthal. "It is a wise investment in protecting our environment for the benefit of our children and our community."

CT DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said, "Here in Connecticut we will all breathe a little easier and healthier as a result of federal funds allowing us to replace older, diesel-powered school buses with newer, cleaner models. While reducing diesel emissions from these buses has the most significant health benefit for the school children who ride on them every day, use of the new buses will help improve air quality for everyone. Our effort to update our school bus fleet is part of our overall focus on improving the quality of Connecticut's air by addressing in-state sources as well as working to limit pollution that is carried here from other states by prevailing winds."

"DATTCO has been a bus provider to New Britain for decades and I'm glad to see that they are committed to making their fleet of buses cleaner for both our students and our environment," said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.

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 pre-date these standards. The Clean Diesel Rebate Program, and the other programs under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, work to accelerate the turnover of the national diesel fleet to remove 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 bus 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 of 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.

The other New England 2015 school bus rebate recipients were in Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont. Nationally since 2008 under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program, EPA has funded more than 650 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 60,000 engines.

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