News Releases from Region 01
Two Maine School Bus Fleets Get Funds for New Buses
BOSTON - Two school districts in Maine, in Kennebunk and in Sullivan, were chosen to receive a total of $200,000 from the US Environmental Protection Agency to help pay for new school buses. The new buses emit less pollution than their older buses, which will help reduce pollution linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.
Regional School Unit 21 in Kennebunk is getting $160,000 to replace eight buses and Regional School Unit 24 in Sullivan is getting $40,000 to replace two buses.
The two Maine fleets are 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."
"We feel very fortunate to have received this funding," said Michael Eastman, superintendent of the Sullivan School District. "It supports our efforts to maintain a bus fleet that is efficient and environmentally friendly."
"Regional School Unit 21 is pleased to have been chosen to receive $160,000 for the purchase of eight cleaner emission school buses," said Katie Hawes, superintendent of the Kennebunk School District. "Throughout our curriculum, we work with students to help them realize and mitigate the impact of pollutants on the environment. The impact of this funding extends beyond finances in that it allows us to model responsible and healthy purchasing for our students and communities."
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 and 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.