Local communities, environment also benefit when school districts replace buses
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2020) – The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) today announced the 2020 Kentucky Clean Diesel Grant Program, which will provide $298,708 to reduce diesel emissions by replacing aging school buses in the commonwealth.
“This year, kids across Kentucky have had to adapt so much to be healthy at school, and every parent has felt especially anxious about our children’s health and well-being,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “That’s why this news couldn’t come at a better time: with these grants, our families will have cleaner air in communities across Kentucky and cleaner air as our kids get on and off school buses.”
All Kentucky public school districts and private schools that own and operate school buses are eligible to apply for funding through this grant program, which will reimburse up to 25 percent of the total cost of the purchase of a new replacement school bus. Grant recipients are responsible for the remaining 75 percent.
“This is an excellent opportunity and I encourage Kentucky school districts to take advantage of it,” Cabinet Secretary Rebecca W. Goodman said. “By reducing diesel school bus emissions and improving air quality, we’ll be protecting the health of our most valuable resource – our children.”
Diesel exhaust contains a mixture of fine particles, nitrogen oxides and more than 40 hazardous air pollutants. These pollutants have 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.
“This program will make it easier for school districts to replace older, more polluting buses with newer, cleaner ones,” said Division for Air Quality director Melissa Duff. “Not only do our communities benefit from cleaner air, but so do bus passengers, since exhaust is often pulled into the vehicle cabin when doors are opened.”
Priority will be given to awarding grants to applicants that are located in an area not meeting current air quality standards, proposals that achieve the most cost-effective emission reductions, and applications that demonstrate the greatest emissions reductions.
The deadline to apply for funds is November 30, 2020. Successful applicants will have until August 31, 2022 to complete their projects. To apply, visit the Division for Air Quality’s web-site at https://eec.ky.gov/Environmental-Protection/Air/Pages/Clean-Diesel-Grant-Program.aspx .
For more information, please email Kelly Lewis at Kelly.Lewis@ky.gov or call 502-782-6687.