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DERA

School Bus Rebates: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

EPA to offer rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for almost 2,000 vehicles to date. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.

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2019 DERA School Bus Rebates CLOSED

School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

The 2019 DERA School Bus Rebates will offer over $10 million to public and private fleet owners for the replacement of old diesel school buses with new buses certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards. EPA will award selected applicants $15,000-20,000 per bus for scrapping and replacing old buses.

Important Dates

Activity Date
Official selection letters emailed to selectees.  Applicants not selected in the lottery can be found on the 2019 EPA School Bus Rebates Applicant Wait List (PDF)(7 pp, 271 K, January 2020, EPA-420-F-20-004, About PDF). March 2020
Deadline for submitting copies of purchase orders for replacement buses. Fleets should reach out to their EPA rebate contacts if they need an extension. June 15, 2020
Deadline for submitting documentation of delivery of replacement buses and scrappage of old buses. EPA will send rebate payment within one month of receipt of complete materials. Fleets should reach out to their EPA rebate contacts if they need an extension. November 16, 2020

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Rebate Application Form and Supporting Documents

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document will be updated weekly during the application period. Questions and answers submitted through October 22, including those from the webinar, will be added to this document.

Eligible Entities

  • Regional, state, or tribal agency that has jurisdiction over transportation and air quality, including school districts and municipalities
  • Private entities that operate school buses under a contract with an entity listed above
  • Fleets with up to 100 school buses may submit one application listing up to 10 buses for scrappage and replacement
  • Fleets with more than 100 school buses may submit up to two rebate applications, each listing up to 10 different buses for scrappage and replacement

Selection Process

  • Applicants will be selected in a lottery, with at least one selectee from each state/territory represented in the applicant pool.

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Eligible Old School Buses to be Replaced

  • Used to transport 10+ pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students to or from schools
  • Driven 10,000 or more miles over the last 12 months or in use 3+ days/week during the current school year
  • Owned by applicant without any active liens
  • Class 3-8 diesel-powered buses [greater than 10,000 lb Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)]
  • Buses must be powered by 2006 or older model year engines
  • Engine and chassis must be scrapped before receiving rebate payment

Eligible Replacement Buses

  • Powered by a 2017 or newer model year engine. Eligible replacement buses may operate on diesel, gasoline, battery, or alternative fuels.
  • Operate in a similar manner and over similar routes as the bus being replaced
  • Be purchased, not leased or leased-to-own 
  • Rebate reimbursement is $15,000 for replacement buses between 10,001-19,500 lbs. GVWR and $20,000 for replacement buses with GVWR of 19,501 lbs. or higher

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