Culver City Edition

School district receives grant to replace diesel-fuel buses

CULVER CITY — The Culver City Unified School District is one of five school district in the state sharing a $325,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to replace old diesel-fuel school buses with new buses that use fuel that is more than 90 percent cleaner.

Other grant recipients were Town Ride, Inc. of the Arcadia Unified School District, Enterprise Elementary School District in Redding, Clovis Unified School District and Southern Humboldt Unified School District in Miranda.

The effort is part of the West Coast Collaborative, a clean air partnership that leverages public and private funds to reduce emissions from the most polluting diesel sources in impacted communities. Along the West Coast, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington will receive a total of $755,000 in funding to replace polluting school buses.

“Americans put their children on school buses for a safe ride to school. They shouldn’t have to worry about harmful pollutants emitted from these buses,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “This funding will help keep our children safe and improve the health of those in communities across the country.”

“Reducing exposure to diesel pollution is important for everyone, particularly children,” said Jared Blumenfeld, administrator for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “This funding will improve air quality for children, one of our most sensitive populations.”

Applicants were randomly selected and placed in order on a list until a total of $3 million was allocated. This was EPA’s second round of the rebate program aimed at replacing older diesel school buses. Public and private school bus fleets were eligible to apply for rebates for the replacement of school buses with engine model years of 2006 or older.

Since 2008, the program has funded more than 600 clean diesel projects across the country. Those projects have reduced emissions for more than 60,000 engines.

The EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. These pollutants are linked to health problems, including aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.

Nationwide, 76 recipients will receive rebates through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funding to replace 210 school buses.