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Ashford Conn. Gets Funds for New Cleaner School Bus

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David Deegan (

BOSTON - The Town of Ashford, Conn. will receive $20,000 from the US Environmental Protection Agency to help pay for a new school bus that emits less pollution than its older bus. The new bus will help reduce pollution linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.

The Ashford fleet was among three fleets in New England, and 88 fleets in 27 states, that will receive more than $7.7 million in rebates through EPA's 2016 Clean School Bus Rebate Program. The funds will help pay to replace 401 older diesel school buses with new buses that are more than 90 percent cleaner.

"Children should not be exposed to pollutants from diesel emissions when they ride the bus to school in the morning," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "These funds will help protect our children, at the same time they will help keep communities healthier in the future."

"As a small, rural town in northeastern Connecticut, Ashford does its best to update its mechanical facilities and fleet vehicles to provide a safer and healthier environment for our students," said Michael J. Zambo, first selectman in Ashford. "Our acceptance into the 2016 National Clean Diesel Rebate Program for school bus replacement will allow the Town to replace a 2005, 71-passenger school bus with 160,000 miles on it."

Since 2008, EPA has helped provide funding for more than 700 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 70,000 engines, under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Since 2007, EPA has put in place standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still in operation and continue to 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.

Public and private school bus fleets were eligible to apply for the funds and eligible applicants were chosen at random. Applicants replacing school buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $25,000, depending on the size of the bus. Applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engine model years between 1994 to 2006 with a diesel oxidation catalyst plus closed crankcase ventilation system to reduce toxic emissions. EPA will fully fund the cost of these devices up to $4,000.

More information about Clean Diesel and DERA rebates (