Thursday, February 20, 2020

Schools in two Florida counties receiving funds to reduce bus emissions

The school boards of Orange County and Saint Lucie County in Florida will receive rebates of $240,000 and $200,000, respectively, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding, the EPA said in a release.

Throughout the U.S., EPA allotted over $7.7 million to 88 school bus fleets in 27 states to replace or modify 401 aging diesel school buses to cut down on pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that cause health problems like asthma and lung damage.

“Thanks to DERA funding, we are protecting our children from breathing diesel emissions as they travel to school,” Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, said in the news release.

“Nearly 17,000 of our country's schools are located within steps of a heavily traveled road, potentially exposing more than 6 million children to traffic-related pollution at a time when their developing lungs are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution,” Grundler said.

Rebates will vary by bus size and range from $15,000 and $25,000 for replaced buses with engine model years of 2006 and older. The DERA program has paid for more 700 clean diesel projects throughout the U.S. since 2008, lowering emissions in over 70,000 engines.

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Environmental Protection Agency Region 4

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