The South Coast Air Quality Management District today awarded nearly $43 million to help school districts in the Southland purchase clean-burning compressed natural gas and propane buses to replace the dirtiest diesel school buses in their fleets.
Also today, the AQMD awarded more than $3 million to help school districts retrofit 176 newer diesel school buses with particulate traps to reduce diesel emissions.
“The number of school buses being replaced or retrofitted with this award is extraordinary and it’s a giant step toward our goal of cleaning up all school bus fleets in the region,” said William A. Burke, chairman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District. “This will help thousands of school children and their communities breathe a little easier.”
Local districts receiving grants include the Newhall, Saugus and Sulphur Springs districts will each will receive grants of $202,310 to replace two busses in their fleet with propane vehicles. The William S. Hart District will receive a grant for $101,155 to replace one bus with a propane vehicle.
Overall, the award will enable 13 school districts across the Southland to replace 304 model year 1987 and older buses with new, cleaner burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane buses.
Alternative-fueled school buses are substantially cleaner than the older diesel buses they replace. In addition, these buses emit no diesel soot, which is the source of about 84 percent of all air pollution cancer risk in the region.
Funding for the bus replacements is provided through Proposition 1B approved by voters in November 2006 and the state’s Carl Moyer Program.
AQMD has been a leader in providing incentives to help replace older diesel school buses with cleaner buses. Since 2000, AQMD has approved more than $152 million to replace over 930 older diesel school buses with cleaner models and retrofit 2,991 newer diesel buses with particulate traps.
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.