Gov. Beshear Announces $310,000 Available in Clean Diesel Grants to Replace Aging School Buses

Local communities, environment also benefit when school districts replace buses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2022) – Gov. Andy Beshear today announced the 2022 Kentucky Clean Diesel Grant Program, which will provide $310,643 towards reducing diesel emissions by replacing aging school buses in the Commonwealth.

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 replacement school bus. Grant recipients are responsible for the remaining 75 percent.

“Let’s make it a priority to replace these older buses,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “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 is an excellent opportunity and I encourage Kentucky school districts to take advantage of it,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca W. Goodman said.

Priority will be given to awarding grants to applicants that are in an area not meeting current air quality standards, proposals that achieve the most cost-effective emission reductions, and applications that demonstrate the greatest reductions in emissions.

“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 Michael Kennedy. “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.”

The deadline to apply for funds is November 4, 2022.  Successful applicants will have until September 30, 2023 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 Benita Stephens at Benita.Stephens@ky.gov or call 502-782-6781.

###

Ozone Season Began May 1

Outdoor Burning Restricted in Some Counties

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 2, 2022) – Ozone season began May 1 and for some Kentucky counties that means taking extra care to learn before you burn. From May 1 through September 30, open burning in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Jefferson, Kenton, Lawrence, and Oldham counties is restricted to protect air quality.

Ground-level ozone is a summertime health risk, created when pollutants chemically react in the atmosphere in the presence of heat and sunlight.

“Pollution from open burning is more likely to cause problems during the warmer months of the year,” said Michael Kennedy, director of the Division for Air Quality. “For those counties that have historically had problems meeting air quality standards for ozone and particulate pollution, most open burning is restricted during this time to protect air quality and human health.”

From May through September, the open burning of household rubbish, brush, tree limbs, leaves and natural growth from land clearing are not permitted in Boone, Boyd, Bullitt, Campbell, Kenton, and Oldham counties. A portion of Lawrence County is subject to open burning restrictions during ozone season.  Open burning is restricted year-round in Jefferson County.

All of these counties have, at one time or another, been designated ‘non-attainment’ for ozone or particulate matter pollutants.

Many people may not realize that burning trash – at any time of the year – is illegal in all Kentucky counties. State law prohibits the burning of many materials including plastic, tires, cans, coated wire, carpeting and food waste. In addition, the burning of trailers, buildings, and construction and demolition debris such as shingles, drywall and insulation is prohibited. 

Painted, stained or treated wood products such as fence posts, pallets, and furniture are illegal to burn, because they release dangerous toxins into the air. Items that cannot be recycled should be taken to a state-permitted landfill.

To report illegal open burning or to learn more about open burning restrictions in your area, please call the Division for Air Quality at 502-782-6592 or email burnlaw@ky.gov , or visit the division’s website at http://bit.ly/OpenBurningKY .

###