ANR grant program helps schools replace old school buses

July 20, 2009 

WATERBURY – The Agency of Natural Resources is currently accepting grant applications from school districts interested in the early replacement of older diesel buses with new, cleaner ones to help protect children’s health.

 The deadline to apply for the Vermont School Bus Replacement Program is Aug. 3. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, approximately $1.5 million will be used to reimburse eligible school districts up to 50 percent of the cost of a replacement bus.

 “This Recovery Act funding will provide a great boost to Clean Air investments in Vermont,” said Dick Valentinetti, director of the Air Quality Division. “Cutting diesel emissions will improve the air we breathe and protect human health.”

 Pollution from diesel engines is a widespread problem across New England. Diesel exhaust contains fine particulate matter, which poses a serious health risk because it can easily pass through the nose and throat and lodge deep in the lungs. When inhaled repeatedly, the fine particles in diesel exhaust may aggravate asthma and allergies or cause other serious health problems. Vermont’s childhood asthma rate is currently above 10 percent. 

The application form and eligibility guidelines are available online at: www.anr.state.vt.us/air/MobileSources/htm/schoolbusreplacement.htm. For more information, contact David Love at 802-241-3554 or via e-mail at david.love@state.vt.us.