EPA Awards $240,000 to Clean Up School Buses in Maryland
PHILADELPHIA (April 24, 2020) – In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $240,000 today to replace 12 older diesel school buses in Maryland. The funds are among $11.5 million going to replace 580 older diesel school buses in 157 school bus fleets in 43 states and Puerto Rico, each of which will receive rebates through EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding. The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage. In Maryland, the funds are going to:
- Allegany County School District ($40,000)
- Frederick County School District ($200,000)
“As we continue to celebrate Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, EPA continues to be committed to providing communities access to rebates to improve and replace aging school buses that will improve air quality across the country and provide children with a safe and healthy way to get to school,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “While many fleets are currently off the road as we all social distance during COVID-19, these local school districts will start up again, and EPA is proud to have helped equip them with cleaner running buses.”
“Earth Day’s primary goal is to protect the environment for future generations. These rebates help do just that by continuing to improve air quality across the country and providing children with a safe and healthy way to get to school,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “While many fleets are currently off the road, when these local school districts start up again, EPA and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act have helped equip them with cleaner running buses, moving farther along the route to healthier kids and communities.”
“With all the challenges our public schools face, DERA helps school districts replace their old school buses with new ones that are more cost-effective and meet standards for reduced emissions which means cleaner air,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This 50th Earth Day is a great opportunity to highlight how this program has been a boon for both local taxpayers and the environment.”
Applicants replacing buses with engine model years 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000 per bus, depending on the size of the bus.
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, lung damage and other serious health problems.
“Just a few weeks ago, I saw firsthand the power of Frederick’s electric bus fleet with County Executive Jan Gardner. These buses are green and save green; they are good for our environment and the County's bottom line,” said Congressman David Trone (Maryland, 6th District). “I am thrilled to see this funding for Frederick County Public Schools’ bus fleet. As we celebrate Earth Day, we must continue to invest in green transit infrastructure to protect the health and safety of our students and our environment.”
Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 1,000 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 70,000 engines. A comprehensive list of the 2020 DERA school bus recipients can be found at www.epa.gov/dera/awarded-dera-rebates.
For more information about the DERA program, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.