Did you know that nationwide there are nearly 480,000 school buses that drive 25 million children over four BILLION miles every year? Did you also know that diesel exhaust not only has a negative effect on the environment, but it has been linked to health conditions such as aggravated asthma and lung damage? These were all serious factors that the EPA took into consideration while passing the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2010. This act aims to protect both our youth and the environment at the same time.
Diesel school buses have an approximate lifespan of 30 years; therefore many school buses on the road today are not up to the new emission standards. In effort to help incentivize school districts to take a step forward and become CLEANER and GREENER, in 2016 the EPA awarded approximately $7.7 Million worth of rebates to support projects that decrease emissions from current diesel engines. As a result of the funding from the DERA, over the past seven years nearly 25,000 school buses have become cleaner.
So what is a cleaner alternative to diesel? Propane powered fleets release 8,000 fewer pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions. Not only is it better for the environment, but according to Ron Latko, director of transportation and fleet management in Mesa School District, switching from diesel to propane would save their district $98k per year. Protect our youth, help the environment, with an added bonus of cutting costs.
The EPA rebate program offers different pricing tiers based on the age of the diesel engines and the overall size of the bus. To learn more about which districts near you are taking a step in the “greener” direction, visit: https://www.epa.gov/dera/rebates
For further research, check out the links below: