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Au Gres-Sims Receives $20,000 Grant Rebate Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Funding Program
Au Gres-Sims Receives $20,000 Grant Rebate Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Funding Program
Jeff Collier
Monday, March 05 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Contact: press@epa.gov

Au Gres-Sims School District Contact:  Mary Lyon 989-876-7150 www.ags-schools.org                                                                

Au Gres-Sims Receives $20,000 Grant Rebate Through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s  Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Funding Program

March 5, 2018

AU GRES, MI – On February 15, 2018, the Au Gres-Sims School District was awarded $20,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Diesel Rebate Program under the applicable 2017 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding Opportunity.  In February, the EPA awarded more than $8.7 million to replace or retrofit 452 older diesel school buses across the country.  The funds were disbursed to 141 school bus fleets in 32 states, each of which received rebates through EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding.  The new and retrofitted buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage.

Applicants replacing buses with engine model years of 2006 and older received rebates between $15,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the bus.  Applicants also had the option of retrofitting school buses with engine model years between 1994 to 2006 with diesel oxidation catalysts, closed crankcase ventilation systems, and fuel operated heaters to reduce toxic emissions.  

Au Gres-Sims qualified by having a 2003 bus eligible for the program funding.  The district will use the funds to off-set the cost of purchasing a new bus to add to their modernized fleet.  Since 2012, the district has had a strong focus on overhauling its local school bus fleet.  Currently, the oldest bus the district owns is a 2013 model.  Au Gres-Sims Business Services Director, Mary Lyon, said, “We are thrilled about this funding opportunity.  These rebated funds represent a win-win scenario that allows us to supplement our fleet with the purchase of another new bus, while also modeling environmental stewardship within protection standards.”

Bob Lyon, the district’s Bus Fleet Maintenance Supervisor and bus driver, is credited with originally discovering and researching this program’s possibility for Au Gres-Sims.  He stated, “Our entire fleet now has Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) systems which allows us to comply with State regulations and environmental standards.”  He added, “We have a great team of drivers at Au Gres-Sims.  Receipt of this grant is another positive realization of what collaborative teamwork, with shared leadership, can achieve.”

EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses are still operating.  These older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to instances of aggravated asthma, lung damage, and other serious health problems.  Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 700 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 70,000 engines. 

For more information about EPA's National Clean Diesel campaign and DERA program, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.

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