DEQ Press Releases

Driscoll, Paul

DEQ Announces 14 Clean School Bus Replacement Grant Awards

HELENA – Helping local school districts to improve the health and safety of students, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is announcing 14 grant awards through the Clean School Bus Replacement program. These grants will help school districts replace older diesel school buses with newer, cleaner propane or diesel vehicles. 

 

“Working with Montana’s school districts to get up to speed with technologies that dramatically reduce pollution, including harmful fine particles, is a step towards healthier air quality, not only for students riding these buses but all of us across Montana,” said DEQ Director Shaun McGrath. "These types of investments offer significant fuel and cost savings and set an example for efforts to secure clean air.” 

 

“Frenchtown School District is very pleased with the notice that it has received DEQ Clean School Bus awards of $31,500 to be used towards the purchase price of two new propane buses,” said Randy Cline, superintendent of the Frenchtown School District and a former president of the Montana Association of School Superintendents. “Receiving these grants allows FTSD to lower its emissions in an air stagnate zone by switching from diesel fuel to energy efficient propane powered buses.” 

 

“The total amount awarded to FTSD creates a savings to FTSD and its taxpayers,” continued Cline. “The savings will continue with FTSD paying half the price for propane as it pays for diesel and for maintenance costs as diesel engines require 17 quarts of engine oil and propane buses require only seven.” 

 

Oxides of nitrogen create particulate matter that can lead to asthma and other respiratory illnesses; children and the elderly are known to be at increased risk. 

 

“We have purchased four propane buses over the last two years,” said Mark Wandle, Superintendent of Huntley Project School District. “Consideration factors to purchase more have included the ability to start in warm weather, the quick warming up on cold days, the simpler maintenance without the emission control concerns, and the support of our local Valley Farmers Cooperative to help us establish a fueling station on our grounds.” 

 

School districts receiving awards include: 

 

School District 

Grant Amount 

New Bus 

Alberton 

$22,500 

Diesel 

Belt 

$22,500 

Diesel 

Browning 

$31,500 

Propane Low NOx 

Browning 

$31,500 

Propane Low NOx 

Cayuse Prairie 

$22,500 

Diesel 

Charlo 

$31,500 

Propane Low NOx 

Corvallis 

$22,500 

Propane 

Corvallis 

$22,500 

Propane 

Custer 

$22,500 

Diesel 

Frenchtown 

$31,500 

Propane

Frenchtown 

$31,500 

Propane

Huntley 

$31,500 

Propane Low NOx 

Libby 

$22,500 

Diesel 

Lone Rock 

$22,500 

Diesel 

 

The goals of the Clean School Bus Replacement program are to help reduce kids’ exposure to harmful diesel exhaust from old diesel buses across the state. This funding opportunity is made available through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). Each state receives funding every year to replace older diesel medium-heavy duty vehicles with newer diesel and alternative fueled vehicles. This year’s awards were supplemented with funds from Montana’s $12.6 million Volkswagen settlement and opened the Clean School Bus Replacement program statewide for the first time. 

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