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EPA Awards $10.5 Million to Cut U.S. School Bus Emissions, Replace California Diesel Buses with Electric

California receives $885,000, including funds for 14 of the 16 electric buses offered nationally

Contact Information: 
Joshua Alexander (
(415) 972-3258

San Francisco (April 20, 2021) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded approximately $10.5 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding to replace 473 older diesel school buses. The funds are going to 137 school bus fleets in 40 states, including California, which is receiving $885,000 to be awarded to the Center Unified School District, Elk Grove Unified School District, River Delta Unified School District, and the Robla School District.

The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage. This is the first year in which EPA is offering additional funds for alternative-fuel and electric bus replacements. This year, five fleets plan to replace 16 old diesel buses with electric buses. 14 of these 16 electric buses will be in California. Applicants scrapping and replacing diesel buses with engine model years 2006 and older will receive rebates between $20,000 and $65,000 per bus, depending on the fuel type of the replacement bus.

"The rebates provide children with a safe and healthy way to get to school by upgrading older diesel engines in our nation’s school buses," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, EPA is equipping local school districts with cleaner-running buses, helping them along the route to healthier kids and communities.”

EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. These older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, and other health effects or illnesses that can lead to missed days of work or school. 

Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 1,300 projects across the country, reducing diesel emissions in more than 70,000 engines. A comprehensive list of the 2020 DERA School Bus Rebate recipients can be found at

For more information about the DERA program, visit

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