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New Britain, Conn. School District will Benefit from $125,000 EPA Rebate for Clean Emission School Buses

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David Deegan (

BOSTON – The New Britain, Conn. school district will benefit from a $125,000 US Environmental Protection Agency rebate that will pay for retrofitted engines on seven older school buses so they would emit fewer pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.

DATTCO Inc., serving New Britain public schools, was among four fleets in New England, and 141 fleets in 32 states, that are receiving more than $8.7 million in rebates through EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The funds will help pay to replace 452 older diesel school buses with new buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner.

"These EPA funds to replace older bus engines with cleaner units will mean healthier rides for kids in New Britain who ride a school bus every day to get to their school," said Alexandra Dunn, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Parents rely on school buses to safely bring their children to and from school, and we're happy to help ensure cleaner air for these children."

"We are proud of the commitment made by Dattco to ensuring that students are in a healthy, safe environment while traveling to and from school, and to reducing their impact on our environment," said City of New Britain Mayor, Erin Stewart.

Districts and bus companies replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older are receiving between $15,000 and $20,000 per bus, depending on the size of the bus. Fleet operators also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engine model years between 1994 to 2006 with a diesel oxidation catalyst, closed crankcase ventilation system, and fuel-operated heater to reduce harmful emissions. EPA will fully fund the cost of these devices up to $6,000.

EPA has put in place standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating with the old engines, which emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems. Since 2008, the diesel program has funded more than 700 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 70,000 engines.

The other New England awards went to Five Star Transportation serving Chicopee (Mass.) Public Schools, which received $200,000 for retrofitting 10 buses; $125,000 for retrofitting seven buses; Saco (Maine) Public Schools which received $180,000 for nine buses; and Wareham (Mass.) Public Schools, which received $200,000 for retrofitting 10 buses.

More information on EPA's work under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program (

A comprehensive list of the 2017 DERA school bus recipients can be found at