The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of approximately $10 million in rebates to public school bus fleet owners to help replace older school buses.

Upgrading buses with older engines reduces diesel emissions and improves air quality. October is Children’s Health Month, and the announcement is an important part of the agency’s commitment to protecting children’s health and their future, said officials.

“Children’s health is a top priority for EPA, and these grants will help provide cleaner air and a safer, more reliable ride to and from school for America’s children,” said Administrator Andrew Wheeler, adding the funding reflect’s the agency’s broader agenda regarding children’s health, as well as its commitment to a clean and healthy environment for all children. 

EPA standards for new diesel engines can make them more than 90% cleaner than older ones, but many older diesel engines still in operation predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large quantities of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which have been linked to serious health problems such as aggravated asthma and lung damage. 

EPA will accept applications through Oct. 30.

This is the seventh rebate program to fund cleaner school buses offered under Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) appropriations. Nearly 30,000 buses across the country have already been made cleaner as a result of DERA funding, said officials.

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