The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is using the 2014 federal Diesel Emission Reduction Act allocation to the state to buy new low emission school buses for the Culver and Creswell school districts. With this funding, four older diesel buses will get scrapped and replaced with low emission propane and diesel powered school buses.
“We know that the school bus is the safest way to get kids to school. Now we are helping these school districts making them the most sustainable and healthy way to get to school,” says DEQ Clean Diesel Program Coordinator Kevin Downing.
“We decided to use this year’s allocation to Oregon under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act to move down the list of school districts that were not selected in 2012,” said Downing. There were 11 other Oregon school districts participating in 2012 and now 10 in 2014 that were not selected. The Oregon grant will cover 25 percent of the replacement cost for new buses. Creswell is planning to replace three buses, model years 1993, 2000 and 2002. Culver is planning to replace one 1993 bus.
Diesel engines are durable and efficient but emit levels of fine particulate matter that have been shown to contribute to a variety of health effects including asthma, heart disease and increased risk for cancer. Buses built after the 2008 model year are now required to have high efficiency pollution controls that reduce these harmful pollutants by over 90 percent. These programs are intended to facilitate turnover to less polluting buses.