News Releases from Region 05
EPA Awards Nearly $1 Million to Clean Up School Buses in Illinois
CHICAGO (May 2, 2019) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded $940,000 to replace 48 older diesel school buses in Illinois. The funds are going to school bus fleets, 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.
“Children’s health is a top priority for EPA, and these grants will help provide cleaner air and a healthier ride to and from school for America’s children,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This DERA funding reflects our broader children’s health agenda and commitment to ensure all children can live, learn, and play in healthy and clean environments.”
The following school bus fleets were selected for DERA rebates in Illinois:
- Community Consolidated School District 15
- First Student - Springfield, IL
- Norris City-Omaha-Enfield CUSD #3
- Prairie Central Community Unit School District #8
- Rockford Public School District 205
- Township High School District 211
- Vienna High School #13-3
- Vienna Public School District #55
Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000 per bus, depending on the size of the bus. Regional, state or tribal agencies including school districts and municipalities, or private entities that operate school buses under contract with state, tribal or local agencies were eligible to apply.
Nationwide, EPA recently awarded more than $9.3 million to replace 473 older diesel school buses. The funds are going to 145 school bus fleets in 43 states or territories. Bus replacements funded through the rebate program reduce emissions and exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides for children at schools, bus stops, and on the buses themselves.
School buses travel over 4 billion miles each year nationwide, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, exhaust from diesel buses can harm health, especially in children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.
EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90% cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. These older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems.
The 2018 DERA school bus rebate recipients can be found at https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates