PRESS RELEASE | Yuma schools awarded grant funds to replace older diesel school buses with newer, cleaner burning propane buses

Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) are awarding two schools in Yuma a State Clean Diesel Grant totaling nearly $320,000. These funds will be used to replace older diesel school buses with new, cleaner burning propane school buses.

MCAQD administers the State Clean Diesel Grant program, which is designed to improve air quality by reducing diesel emissions. This grant is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) and is funded through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ADEQ provides matching funds.

Yuma Elementary School District #1 will receive $119,670 to replace two model year 1997 and 2002 school buses with three propane school buses. With an award of $199,449, Yuma Union High School District #70 will replace three model year 1995 and two model year 1997 school buses with four propane school buses. Grant funds are pending with the EPA for two additional model year 1997 bus replacements costing $79,780.

“Replacing older buses with more efficient models, not only improves the air quality for students, families and people in Yuma, but also improves the safety of our students, drivers and teachers, plus will reduce the cost of maintenance and fuel that came with the older buses,” said Ron Schepers, Director of Transportation for the Yuma Schools Transportation Consortium. “It’s a win for everyone and we are thankful for all the federal, state and fellow Arizona county support to make this happen.”

By replacing the older diesel buses with propane buses, an estimated total of nearly 100 tons in emissions will be saved each year. The Yuma area is in non-attainment for ozone and particulate matter 10 microns or smaller (PM-10), according to the EPA. Emissions from diesel vehicles contribute to both these pollutants. Children are also more susceptible to air pollution than adults because their respiratory systems are still developing and they have a higher breathing rate. By removing these diesel buses from the fleet, exposure to emissions is reduced.

Additional Resources

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MCAQD Grant Program Administrator Larz Garcia | 602-506-0147 | E-mail >

ADEQ Public Information Officer | 602-771-2215 (office) | 602-540-8072 (cell) | E-mail >