Schools receive funds to buy cleaner buses in Nebraska

January 21, 2019. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality said they’re handing out $3.1 million in funds from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust.

   Schools and transit systems are getting the money to replace older diesel buses with cleaner diesel natural gas, electric or propane buses. NDEQ said $1,891,527 has been designated to assist Nebraska school districts.

   “Each of the 41 participating school districts will receive partial funding to purchase one new replacement bus. They will receive either 50% reimbursement for a new diesel bus (maximum payment $42,000) or 60% reimbursement (maximum $57,000) for a new propane-fueled bus that meets stricter emissions requirements,” said a statement released Wednesday.

   NDEQ said $1,255,206 will help buy two battery-electric transit buses for Lincoln StarTran and two rapid-transit buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) for Omaha Metro.

   NDEQ estimates that, over an estimated lifetime of 15 years for the new school buses and transit buses, emissions of nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 29 tons and particulates by 1 ton.

   “The new buses will have much lower emissions than the buses they are replacing,” said NDEQ Director Jim Macy. “As a result, school children, transit bus passengers, and the public along the bus routes will experience substantially reduced exposure to these harmful diesel pollutants.”