EPA Sets New Diesel Emissions Reduction Act School Bus Rebates

Name plate at EPA headquarters

Christmas arrived early for 145 school bus fleets in 43 states and territories that received new Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced several dozen awards on May 2, to provide over $9.3 million in rebates to replace older diesel-powered school buses nationwide.

School districts nationwide are receiving the rebate through the EPA’s DERA funding program. The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems, especially asthma and lung damage.

“Children’s health is a top priority for EPA, and these grants will help provide cleaner air and a healthier ride to and from school for America’s children,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This DERA funding reflects our broader children’s health agenda and commitment to ensure all children can live, learn, and play in healthy and clean environments.”



“These rebates are an innovative way to reduce the impacts of diesel emissions with the early retirement of older dirtier school buses,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “DERA funding provides environmental and health benefits by eliminating exposure to diesel exhaust, and it does so in a cost-effective manner.”

EPA officials said that applicants who replace buses with engine model years of 2006 and older will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the bus. Regional, state, or tribal agencies, including school districts and municipalities, or private entities that operate school buses under contract with state, tribal or local agencies, were eligible to apply.

Over the last seven years, EPA has awarded approximately $39 million in rebates to replace almost 2,000 school buses. Bus replacements funded through the rebate program reduce emissions and exposure to particulate matter and nitrogen oxides for children at schools, bus stops, and on the buses themselves.

School buses travel over four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, exhaust from diesel buses can harm health, especially in children, who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

The EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating. These older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems.

The Cranston Rhode Island Public Schools Superintendent, Jeannine Nota-Masse, said it would, “like to express its appreciation to the EPA for its valued assistance. Due to the fact we own and operate our own school bus fleet, the awarded monies allow us to replace aging buses with new, more environmentally friendly buses. Furthermore, this money provides us more flexibility to support our educational programs for our students.”

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U.S. EPA Awards Announced May 2019

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Alabama —                                                   $600,000       Replace 30 older diesel buses

  • Huntsville School District                             $ 40,000         Retrofit 2 diesel buses
  • Alabama Madison School System                  $ 80,000         4 buses
  • Alabama Mobile County Board of Education   $200,000        10 buses
  • Alabama Pike Road Board of Education         $100,000         5 buses
  • Alabama St. Clair County Board of Education $200,000        10 buses
  • Alabama Winfield City Schools                      $ 20,000         1 bus

Arizona —

  • Arizona Crane Elementary SD13, Yuma Cnty  $ 60,000         Replace 3, 1996-97 diesel

California —                                                     $185,000       Toward 10  buses at 4 fleets

  • Butteville Union Elementary SD                      $ 20,000        Replace 1, 1996 school bus
  • Oroville City Elementary SD                           $ 45,000        Replace 3, 2001 buses
  • Ventura Unified SD                                        $ 20,000        Replace 1, 1991 bus
  • Ventura Transit System (Santa Paula USD)      $100,000       Replace 5, 1991-2003 bus

Connecticut —

  • Glastonbury Board of Education                      $100,000       Replace 5 older buses

Delaware —

  • Providence Creek Academy                              $ 40,000      Replace older diesel buses
  • D&N Bus Service, Inc.                                     $ 40,000      Replace older diesel buses (Milford School District, Sussex County)

Florida —

  • Broward County School Board                         $200,000       Replace diesel school buses

Georgia —                                                        $335,000       To Georgia school districts

  • Fulton County Schools                                    $120,000        Replace 6 buses
  • Pierce County Board of Education                     $ 40,000        Replace 2 buses
  • Putnam County Charter School System             $ 75,000        Replace 4 buses
  • Stephens County Board of Education                $ 40,000         Replace 2 buses
  • Worth County Board of Education                     $ 60,000         Replace 3 buses

Hawaii —

  • Roberts Hawaii School Bus, Inc.                       $ 80,000       Replace 4 buses

Illinois —                                                           $940,000      Replace 48 old diesel buses

  • Community Consolidated SD15
  • First Student – Springfield, IL
  • Norris City-Omaha-Enfield CUSD #3
  • Prairie Central Community Unit SD #8
  • Rockford Public School District 205
  • Township High School District 211
  • Vienna High School #13-3
  • Vienna Public School District #55

Indiana —                                                         $175,000    Replace 9 older diesel buses

  • North Daviess Community Schools
  • Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp.
  • School City of East Chicago

Kentucky —

  • Bell County Board of Education, Pineville           $200,000      Replace 10 older diesels

Louisiana —

  • Ouachita Parish School System                         $320,000      Retrofit 16 diesel buses

Maine —

  • Maine School Admin. District #61                     $ 40,000       Replace 2 buses             Lake Region, Casco, Naples, Bridgton
  • MSAD 49; Albion, Benton, Clinton, Fairfield        $ 40,000       Replace 2 school buses
  • MSAD 6 Bonny Eagle SD, Buxton, Hollis,                                                         Standish, Limington, Frye Island                       $ 20,000       Replace 2 older diesels 

Michigan —                                                       $180,000      Replace 9 older diesels

  • Michigan IDA Public School
  • Michigan Summerfield School
  • Michigan Whittemore-Prescott Area Schools

Minnesota —                                                     $440,000     Replace 22 older diesels

  • Becker Independent School District 726
  • Haley Transportation of St Charles, Inc.
  • Kottkes’ Bus Service, Inc.
  • Pine River-Backus Schools ISD 2174
  • Voigt’s School Bus Service, Inc.

Mississippi —

  • Clinton Public School District                            $100,000       Replace 5 older diesels

Montana —

  • Kalispell, MT Treasure State Transit                  $ 80,000         Replace 4 school buses

New Jersey —

  • North Brunswick Township Board of Education   $ 55,000         Replace 3 school buses
  • Toms River Regional Schools                            $200,000        Replace 10 school buses
  • Wall Township Board of Education                     $100,000        Replace 5 school buses
  • George Dapper, Inc., Iselin                               $200,000        Replace 10 school buses

New Mexico —

  • New Mexico RV Transportation, LLC.                 $ 20,000         Retrofit a diesel bus

New York —

  • Honeoye Central School District                       $ 20,000         Replace 1 school bus.

New York, N.J. & Puerto Rico —                      $725,000        Replace 39 buses, 6 sites


North Carolina —

  • Tasha’s Transit, LLC., Durham                         $ 20,000         Retrofit a diesel school bus

Ohio —                                                             $160,000       Replace 8 older diesels

  • Celina City Board of Education
  • Conneaut Area City Schools
  • Stark County Board of Devel. Disabilities

Oklahoma —

  • Stigler Public Schools                                      $ 20,000        Retrofit 1 diesel bus

Pennsylvania —                                                  $180,000       Replace 10 older diesels

  • Groomes Transit, Inc. (Quest Transit)                 $ 20,000
  • Laurel School District, Lawrence County             $ 40,000
  • Plum Borough School District, Allegheny Cnty     $ 60,000
  • Pilgrim Transport Services, Inc. (Commodore                                                                         Perry SD, Mercer County)                        $ 60,000

Puerto Rico —

  • Transporte Sonnell, LLC., Corozal                       $150,000       Replace 10 school buses

Rhode Island —

  • Cranston Public Schools                                   $180,000       Replace 9 older buses

South Carolina —                                             $140,000        Replace 7 old diesel buses

  • DOE Lexington SD 2                                       $ 80,000         4 buses
  • DOE Richland County SD 1                              $200,000       10 buses

South Dakota —

  • Rapid City Area Schools 51-4                          $200,000        Replace 19 school buses

Tennessee —                                                    $8.9 million     143 buses from 2009 or before will be replaced with 68 new diesel, 1 all-electric, 66 propane and 8 compressed natural gas school buses throughout Tenn.

  • Bledsoe County Schools, Lynch Bus Lines, LLC. (services Knox County Schools), Bradford Special School District, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Bristol Tennessee City Schools, Morgan County Board of Education, Campbell County School System , Obion County Schools, Carroll County Board of Education, Oneida Special School District, Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, Overton County Schools, Clay County Schools, Perry County Schools, Fentress County Board of Education, Putnam County Board of Education, Greene County Schools, Roane County Board of Education, Grundy County Department of Education, Robertson County Schools, Hancock County School System, Scott County School District, Hardeman County Board of Education, SCU Bus Lines (services Knox County Schools), Henderson County Board of Education, Sequatchie County Board of Education, Hickman County Board of Education, Sevier County Schools, Humphreys County Board of Education, Stewart County Board of Education, Jackson County Board of Education, Van Buren County Schools, JLL Transport, LLC. (services Knox County Schools), Warren County Schools, Johnson City Transit (services Johnson City Schools), Washington County Department of Education, KIPP Nashville, Weakley County Schools and Lake County Schools. Also, White County Board of Education, Sparta, $40,000 to help replace 2 old diesel buses.

Texas —

  • Marshall Independent School District               $ 60,000         Retrofit 3 diesel buses
  • Groveton Independent School District              $ 40,000         Retrofit 2 diesel buses
  • Palestine Independent School District              $ 80,000         Retrofit 4 diesel buses
  • Grapevine-Colleyville ISD                               $180,000        Retrofit 9 diesel buses

Utah —

  • Park City, Utah                                              $140,000        Replace 7 buses

West Virginia —

  • Berkeley County                                            $ 20,000         Replace 1 older diesel bus

Wisconsin —                                                   $360,000         Replace 18 old diesels

  • Kobussen Buses, Ltd.
  • Krug Bus Service, Inc.
  • Thomas Bus Service, Inc.