In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded more than $9.3 million to replace 473 older, diesel school buses. According to the EPA, the funds are being distributed to 145 school bus fleets in 43 states or territories, each of which will receive rebates through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program.
In Iowa, North Polk and five other school districts within the state were awarded rebates as part of the EPA’s 2018 School Bus Rebate Program. To reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel school buses, the $20,000 rebate will ensure the removal of one of North Polk’s oldest buses in the fleet - a 1996 unit with approximately 180,000 miles. The district is purchasing a new, gas bus that is more environmentally friendly, and is scheduled to arrive by the start of the 2019-20 school year. The cost of the new school bus is approximately $89,000, of which the remaining $69,000 will be funded by the district.