The National School Transportation Association reported that the U.S. EPA extended its due date for applications for the 2015 National Clean Diesel Rebate Program till 5 p.m. EST on Nov. 3, in response to extreme weather conditions affecting parts of the county. The award total is $7 million for replacing or retrofitting school buses. Selections will be made by mid December.
School buses that weigh more than 10,001 pounds GVWR and that are powered by 2006 model-year or older engines are eligible to be replaced by certified 2015 model-year or newer engines that operate on ultra low sulfur diesel, battery or hybrid drive trains or alternative fuels. The most rebate money a bus operator could receive ranges from $15,000 per bus for Class 3 and 4 to $25,000 per bus for Class 8 that weighs more than 33,000 pounds GVWR.
Funds are also available to retrofit buses powered by model-year 1994 to 2006 engines with Diesel Oxidation Catalysts plus Closed Crankcase Ventilation. EPA said it will fully fund the cost of these retrofit technologies up to $3,000.
Regional, state, local, or tribal agencies with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality, including school districts and municipalities, are eligible to apply for funds. The same applies for private bus companies that contract with such organizations.
Fleets with one to 100 buses may file one application for up to 10 replacements and/or retrofits, while fleets that have more than 100 buses can file two applications for up to 20 replacements and/or retrofits. Each bus must also have accumulated at least 10,000 miles over the past 12 months.