Michigan school districts will replace 300 older diesel buses with models powered by clean diesel and propane engines under grants awarded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
More than $8.7 million in grants will be awarded under EGLE’s Fuel Transformation Program.
“Replacing older, diesel engines with clean diesel or propane delivers savings for school districts and will also improve public health at bus stops, on school grounds and in communities,” says Jack Schinderle, director of materials and management at EGLE.
“Students who have cleaner air to breathe will do better in school and have fewer health concerns,” he adds.
The school districts submitted proposals either individually or as part of a group. The new buses will operate in 36 counties, including all 10 counties that are in non-attainment for the 2015 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone. The new buses will reduce oxides of nitrogen, greenhouse gases, particulate matter and other harmful emissions.
Districts will have the new buses on the road within the next two years.
Fuel Transformation Program grants are supported with dollars allocated to Michigan from the Volkswagen settlement. The settlement was a result of Volkswagen’s Clean Air Act violations related to the installation of emissions control defeat devices on thousands of diesel engine vehicles. As part of the settlement, Michigan was allocated a total of $64.8 million and will use 21.5% of that total to replace old diesel school buses.
Out of that 21.5%, Michigan granted $4.2 million to pay for up to 70% of the costs associated with buying 17 electric buses in seven districts around the state as well as Level 2 and DC Fast Charging Stations for the vehicles.
For more information about the Fuel Transformation Program, click here.
Photo: Liesl Clark, director at EGLE