Yarmouth, Maine School System awarded $60,000 in EPA Rebates to Reduce School Bus Emissions
YARMOUTH, MAINE – The Yarmouth School District was chosen to receive a grant of $60,000 from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help replace three older school buses, replacing older equipment with newer buses or engines that emit less diesel exhaust.
The Yarmouth Public School bus fleet in Maine, along one community each in Connecticut and Rhode Island, were among the 157 fleets chosen nationwide to receive rebates through the EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) School Bus Rebate program, with $11.5 million in funding available to replace 580 older diesel school buses in 43 states and Puerto Rico. New buses will reduce emissions of harmful pollutants like nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) which are linked to health effects including asthma and lung damage.
"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."
"Cleaner school bus engines result in cleaner air and healthier rides for kids," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "EPA is proud to help ensure cleaner air and lower emissions from school buses in Yarmouth, and we look forward to when kids can return to school and use a school bus for their daily transportation."
"As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I've long-supported DERA funding to reduce air pollution in our communities. I'm glad Yarmouth's School District has been able to take advantage of this federal program and has been awarded enough funding to replace three school buses with more fuel-efficient transport. The town as well as our state will benefit from fewer vehicle emissions polluting our air," said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01).
EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. Under EPA's DERA School Bus Rebate program, diesel school buses that have an engine year of 2006 or older are replaced with new buses powered by 2017 or newer model-year engines, which can reduce pollutants by over 90 percent. Selectees of the School Bus Rebate Program are receiving a $15,000-$20,000 rebate per bus, dependent upon bus size. Rebates cover approximately 25 percent of the purchase price of the new bus.
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. 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.