The U.S. EPA is granting a total of $2 million to fund the replacement of older, diesel-powered school buses, a new pilot program that is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).
Rebate amounts are $20,000 for Class 3 through 5 buses, $25,000 for Class 6 and 7 buses and $30,000 for Class 8 buses. EPA said the release of a program guide has yet to be determined but added that applications will be accepted this fall for a 30-day period.
Last year, DERA was reauthorized through 2016. EPA said a “significant change” is the ability to award rebates to targeted fleets, the first of these specifically for newer bus purchases. Eligible applicants include school districts, private contractors and regional, state, municipal/local and tribal agencies.
School buses eligible to be replaced must be operational at the time of application and are equipped with 1994 to 2003 model-year diesel engines that have accumulated at least 10,000 miles or have been used at least three days per week to transport 10 or more students on routes or field trips during the most recent school year.
Successful applications will receive school bus replacements with model-year 2011 or newer diesel or alternative-fuel engines (battery-electric, hybrid diesel-electric or CNG). Older school buses that are replaced must be scrapped but non-engine or chassis equipment such as seats and tires maybe be salvaged.
Questions on the program can be submitted to the EPA at CleanDieselRebate@epa.gov.