EPA “Love the Bus” awards $200,000 to Oregon School Districts for cleaner, healthier school buses

(Seattle—Feb. 10, 2015) In conjunction with Love the Bus Month, dedicated to showing appreciation for school buses and their drivers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding the Reynolds and Springfield School Districts in Oregon $100,000 each to replace a total of 10 diesel school buses with new buses that reduce harmful emissions by over 90 percent. The new buses will prevent 14 tons of harmful emissions that would otherwise be released into the communities.

“Children riding new school buses in these districts will breathe cleaner, healthier air,” said Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator for the EPA Northwest Region. “Poor air quality poses special risks to children because their bodies are still developing and they spend more time outdoors. We’re proud to support a healthier school environment for our region’s childrens with this funding.”

EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

Since 2008, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program has funded over 600 clean diesel projects across the country. These projects have reduced emissions from more than 60,000 engines. DERA is set to expire in 2016.

Nationwide, 76 recipients will receive rebates through EPA’s DERA funding to replace 210 existing diesel school buses. To view a list of the 2014 School Bus Replacement Rebate recipients, visit: http://epa.gov/cleandiesel/dera-rebate-schoolbus.htm#2014.

To learn more about the West Coast Collaborative and this year’s West Coast DERA school bus replacement projects, visit: http://www.westcoastcollaborative.org.

EPA Region 10: http://www.epa.gov/region10

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