MDEQ Awards $295,000 to 17 School Districts for New School Buses

From:  News Release   7/4/18   GCN
(Jackson, Miss.) -- The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has awarded $295,920 to 17 school districts to apply to the purchase of new school buses for the upcoming school year. The rebates were provided to the school districts toward the purchase of new diesel powered buses with more stringent pollution controls to replace older buses thus reducing emissions of particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.

Since 2009, the MDEQ Diesel School Bus Replacement Program has awarded over $1.08 million to 38 school districts for the purchase of 67 school buses.
“Because thousands of Mississippi children begin and end their days with a trip on a school bus, providing for clean school buses is an ongoing priority for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. School buses are the safest and most efficient way to transport students, but we want to ensure that it’s a healthy trip,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.

The districts selected were:

►Cleveland School District - $28,640 for two buses
►Greenville Public School District -- $28,640 for two buses
►Lawrence County School District -- $28,640 for two buses
►Alcorn School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Coahoma Early College High School -- $15,000 for one bus
►Greene County School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Harrison County School District -- $15,000 for one bus
Leake County School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Lee County School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Long Beach School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Monroe County School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►North Bolivar Consolidated School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►North Pike School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Pontotoc City School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Pontotoc County School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District -- $15,000 for one bus
►West Jasper School District -- $15,000 for one bus

MDEQ has also encouraged school districts to adopt anti-idling policies and the implementation of such a policy is a requirement for the districts that received funds for buses this year. Stricter emissions standards for diesel engines, including school buses, were implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2007. More information is available at https://www.mdeq.ms.gov/air/diesel-emission-reduction-grant-program/.