Black River Local School District was recently awarded a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the amount of $68,637 to replace one model year 2002 diesel-powered school bus with one model year 2019 diesel-powered school bus.
The funding, which is part of Ohio’s Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund (DMTF) Grant program, is part of an effort by Ohio EPA to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from diesel vehicles and equipment.
Projects were selected based on their ability to produce the largest reduction of NOx emissions in four categories: school buses, transit buses, heavy-duty trucks and airport ground support equipment.
This first round of funding from Ohio's portion of the national Volkswagen (VW) settlement resulted in $15 million, which Ohio EPA expects to award to priority counties that do not presently meet federal air quality standards for ozone. Ohio EPA will continue to award funding annually until the remaining funds from the VW settlement have been spent.
Ohio EPA estimates that these projects will achieve an estimated annual emission reduction of more than 88.3 tons of nitrogen oxides and 1,855.5 tons of other pollutants (fine particulates, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons as well as carbon dioxide).
Black River has ordered one 2020 model Bluebird conventional handicap school bus to replace one 2002 international school bus from Cardinal Bus Sales and Service in Lima, OH.
Black River expects the bus to be delivered in the next two weeks, which will produce less pollution and contribute to Ohio's plans for cleaner air. The grant will cover 75 percent of the new bus’ total cost.
“Our school district is dedicated to fiscal responsibility and stretching taxpayers’ dollar as far as possible,” said Superintendent Chris Clark. “Through grant writing, we have not paid full price for a new bus in a number of years. In addition to saving tax dollars, we are also making our transportation fleet more environmentally friendly. Thank you to Ohio EPA for selecting our district as a grant recipient.”