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Reducing Diesel Emissions from School Buses

School buses travel about four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.

While new buses must meet EPA’s tougher emission standards, many older school buses continue to emit harmful diesel exhaust. EPA's Clean School Bus is a national program designed to help communities reduce emissions from older diesel school buses. School districts, fleet owners and operators, bus drivers, parents and students all have a role in helping to reduce diesel emissions from school buses.

EPA offers funding, as appropriated annually by Congress, for projects that reduce emissions from existing diesel engines.  EPA also provides information on strategies for reducing emissions from older school buses. One of the easiest ways to reduce school bus emissions and save money is to reduce idling. Another effective method is to replace the oldest school buses in the fleet. 

School Bus Rebate Program

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 (PDF) (7 pp, 133 K, January 2011, About PDF) allows EPA to offer rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for over 600 vehicles to date. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.

Current School Bus Rebate Program
Awarded DERA Rebates


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