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News Releases from Region 01

Three Connecticut School Bus Fleets Get EPA Funds for Lower Emission Buses

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON - Three school districts in Connecticut were chosen to receive $245,000 from EPA to help pay for 11 new school buses that emit less pollution than their older buses. Killingly School District will receive $125,000 and Montville Public Schools $100,000, each to replace five school buses. Martel Transportation serving Canton school will receive $20,000 to replace one bus in its fleet.

These bus fleets were among five fleets in New England and 76 fleets in 30 states which will receive more than $3 million in rebates through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, administered by EPA. Nationwide, the funds will pay to replace 210 older diesel school buses with new buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner. The replacements will reduce pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that are linked to health problems including asthma and lung damage.

Elsewhere in New England, the Barre Town School District in Vermont will receive $60,000 in rebates for three buses and the GRS Cooperative School District in New Hampshire will receive $20,000 in rebates for one bus through the program.

"When we put our children on the school bus in the morning, parents should not have to worry that their kids' health will suffer from the buses' tailpipe exhaust," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "These EPA Clean Diesel funds will help protect our children and will help create cleaner healthier communities."

"We are delighted to receive preliminary approval for this special grant. As we own and operate our own bus fleet, this grant would help us to retire several older buses, and to acquire new, efficient, environmentally cleaner buses for the well-being of our students," said Brian O'Connell, Manager of Business Affairs for Killingly Public School.

"This is a great opportunity for our district to upgrade our bus fleet. We are excited about the possibly of purchasing five new busses that are more fuel efficient and environmentally safe," said Brian Levesque, Superintendent of Schools of Montville Schools.

Since 2008, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program has funded more than 600 clean diesel projects across the country. These projects have reduced emissions for more than 60,000 engines.

EPA has put in place standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still in operation. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

Applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list until a total of $3 million was allocated. This was EPA's second round of the rebate program aimed at replacing older diesel school buses. Public and private school bus fleets were eligible to apply for the funds to replace school buses with engine model years of 2006 or older.

The American School Bus Council estimates each school bus takes about 36 cars off the road each day, which reduces emissions and saves fuel costs for passenger cars.

More information about the Clean Diesel DERA rebate program: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates#2014sb