NEW YORK, N.Y. — The New York State Bus Distributors Association (NYSBDA) is recommending that New York state use some of its Volkswagen Clean Air Act settlement funds to establish a school bus replacement program. The program allows for the purchase of school buses with all current viable engine and fuel technologies that meet or exceed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2010 emission standards for school buses.
“Our association wholeheartedly supports Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s ongoing efforts to reduce harmful emissions and improve the air quality for all New Yorkers,” said New York State Bus Distributors Association President Paul Daniels. “We are recommending New York state use the Volkswagen settlement funds to establish a school bus replacement program that includes the use of all viable clean-engine and power technologies, including clean-diesel, propane, CNG, LNG and electric.”
The New York State Bus Distributors Association has sent a letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) recommending the state embrace a school bus replacement program that mirrors the federal DERA program, and to allow new school buses to be purchased that meet or exceed the EPA’s 2010 emission standards.
“Today’s modern combustion engines and alternative fuels produce near-zero emissions, and are extremely efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Daniels. “Given that all school buses made after 2010 must meet, or exceed, the EPA’s strictest emissions standards, it makes sense to include them as part of New York’s diesel emissions reduction program.”
The NYS Bus Distributors Association highlights the fact that having a diversified school bus replacement program that uses various clean-engine solutions, will provide the greatest reduction in emissions. It will also allow many more school districts and school transportation contractors to participate in the program.
In addition, the association is recommending that New York model the school bus replacement program after the EPA’s diesel emissions reduction program—DERA (Diesel Emissions Reduction Act).
Replacing older school buses with newer, more efficient and environmentally friendly buses as part of New York’s diesel emissions reduction program, will have an immediate positive impact on reducing harmful emissions throughout the state.
NYSBDA represents school bus dealers throughout New York that sell, service and help maintain safe, environmentally friendly school buses. The association’s members provide important services and support to nearly every school district in the state, thereby helping them save valuable education resources and ensuring their school buses are running efficiently.
New York State is slated to receive approximately $127 million to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx), including replacing or repowering older diesel vehicles, and the advancement of zero emission vehicles. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is currently putting together the final framework of the state’s Volkswagen settlement emissions program, which may also include the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority.
Other Recommendations and Information:
- NYSBDA is recommending the school bus replacement program include all school buses with engine model years prior to 2007—these buses must be active or currently in operation and suggest following the federal DERA parameters on active school buses.
- NYSBDA believes the program should be statewide and not limited to certain areas of the state.
- NYSBDA believes $20 million, or approximately 14 percent of New York’s VW settlement allocation, should be committed to a DERA-like school bus replacement program over a maximum of three years—given there are nearly 50,000 school buses transporting nearly 2.7 million children a day.
- NYSBDA estimates that by including clean-diesel, propane, CNG, LNG and electric, New York’s emissions reduction program will remove approximately 1,000 older engine technology school buses from New York’s roads.
- The association recommends using the DERA reimbursement amounts—ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 per school bus.
- NYSBDA supports the position that school districts and school transportation contractors, which provide school transportation services to school districts, be equally eligible to participate in a school bus replacement program.
- NYSBDA recognizes the VW settlement terms do not allow for the use of gasoline engines for emissions reduction programs.
“The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has been extremely helpful, professional and courteous to us as they work to develop the state’s emissions reduction plan,” concluded Daniels. “We look forward to participating in a successful school bus replacement program, and to doing our part to help school districts and school transportation contractors update their fleets with today’s clean engine and fuel technologies.”
New York Bus Distributors Association
36 British American Blvd. Ste. 108, Box 3
Latham NY 12110