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Chicopee, Mass. School District will Benefit from $200,000 EPA Rebate to Clean Up Emissions from School Buses

03/15/2018
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
617-918-1017

BOSTON – A school district in Chicopee., Mass. will benefit from $200,000 from the US Environmental Protection Agency that will pay for rebates to retrofit the engines on 10 older school buses so they would emit fewer pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.

Five Star Transportation serving Chicopee Public School was among four fleets in New England, and 141 fleets in 32 states, that will receive 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.

"Parents rely on school buses as the safest and most environmentally friendly way to bring their children to and from school," said Alexandra Dunn, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "These EPA funds to replace older bus engines will mean healthier rides for kids in Chicopee who ride a school bus every day to get to their school."

"We appreciate the Clean Diesel Program for this rebate which will enable Five Star Transportation to purchase ten new school buses," said Mayor Richard Kos of Chicopee. "As a Green Community, we also thank Five Star Transportation for their commitment to this initiative and our community."

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 Dattco serving New Britain, Conn., schools, which received $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 (www.epa.gov/cleandiesel)

A comprehensive list of the 2017 DERA school bus recipients can be found at www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates