Community R-VI awarded grant for new bus

Posted 11/26/21

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Nov. 18 that five Missouri school districts and a school bus company will receive $672,540 in grants that will replace 18 older, dirtier …

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Community R-VI awarded grant for new bus

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Nov. 18 that five Missouri school districts and a school bus company will receive $672,540 in grants that will replace 18 older, dirtier buses with newer, cleaner buses, including 10 propane-powered buses.

 The grant awards were part of over $77 million awarded to projects that reduce diesel emissions from the nation’s existing fleet of older, dirtier engines and vehicles. $53 million was awarded through the 2021 Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) National Grants program, and an additional $24 million was awarded to states through the DERA State Grants program. The DERA program funds grants and rebates that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines.

Among the five schools awarded was Community R-VI School District, who received $25,875 for a new cleaner diesel bus.

“Cleaner trucks, buses, boats, and heavy equipment keep local economies thriving while better protecting the health of the people living and working near ports, schools, and along delivery routes,” said EPA administrator Michael S. Regan. “Combined with $5 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law going to electric and alternative fuel school buses over the coming months and years, EPA is leading an unprecedented investment in cleaner air for communities across the country.” 

 “It is important that we continue to retire older, dirtier buses from school fleets,” said acting EPA region 7 administrator Edward H. Chu. “Protecting children’s health continues to be one of our highest priorities at our schools and within our communities.”

“Providing grants for school bus replacements is truly a rewarding program,” said Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MoDNR) director Dru Buntin. “It’s a win-win situation for Missouri, where the air gets cleaner and our students get safer transportation to and from school.”

 EPA awarded 55 DERA National Grants covering a wide range of projects to reduce diesel emissions, including upgrades to school buses, port equipment, and construction equipment. Nineteen of these awards will support replacing older diesel equipment with zero-emission technologies, such as transportation refrigeration units, terminal tractors, drayage trucks, refuse trucks, a locomotive, and a port ship-to-shore gantry crane. All 55 projects will reduce diesel pollution and benefit local communities, many of which are facing environmental justice concerns.

 In selecting projects for awards, priority was given to projects that are in areas designated as having poor air quality, reduce emissions from ports and other goods movement facilities, benefit local communities, incorporate local communities in project planning, and demonstrate an ability to continue efforts to reduce emissions after the project has ended.

EPA also awarded $24 million under its 2021 DERA State Grants program to 49 states and three territories to implement their own diesel emissions reduction programs locally. This program allows states to target funds toward the diesel emissions reduction projects that best align with local priorities. MoDNR was awarded $524,064 to operate a diesel emissions reduction program in the state. 

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