News Releases from Region 04
EPA Awards School Bus Rebates to school districts in South Carolina
EPA Awards Over $9.3 Million to Clean Up School Buses Nationwide
ATLANTA (May 2, 2019) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded a total of $140,000 to replace 7 older diesel school buses in South Carolina. The funds are going to 2 school bus fleets in 2 school districts, 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.”
“These rebates are an innovative way to reduce the impacts of diesel emissions with the early retirement of older dirtier school buses,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “DERA funding provides environmental and health benefits by eliminating exposure to diesel exhaust, and it does so in a cost-effective manner.”
South Carolina 2018 DERA school bus rebate recipients are:
SC DOE Lexington School District 2 4 buses $80,000
SC DOE Richland County School District 1 10 buses $200,000
Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000, 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.
Over the last seven years, EPA has awarded approximately $39 million in rebates to replace almost 2,000 school buses. 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 four billion miles each year, 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 percent 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-issued-2012-2018.