Menendez, Booker Applaud Rebates of $785K for Cleaner School Buses in NJ

Menendez, Booker Applaud Rebates of $785K for Cleaner School Buses in NJ

Buses Will be Retrofitted in Southampton, Wall, Thorofare, Secaucus and Vineland

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-NJ) today applauded the awarding of $785,000 in rebates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace or retrofit 42 older diesel school buses in New Jersey. The new and retrofitted buses will reduce pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter that are linked to numerous health problems, including asthma and lung damage, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby helping address climate change. 

“Retrofitting old, dirty school buses is a win for our air, our health, our economy and the quality of life of all New Jerseyans,” said Sen. Menendez. “I always welcome announcements like this because we have a moral obligation to do all we can to combat climate change and keep our children, our schools and our communities healthy and safe. I am relieved students in the Garden State will be riding school buses that emit less pollutants and I look forward to living in a cleaner, greener New Jersey.”

“This federal investment in clean diesel technology marks a significant step in ensuring the health and well-being of our children and the quality of the air we breathe,” said Sen. Booker. “Common sense programs like this help strengthen our economy  while reinforcing our commitment to a clean and healthy environment, which is why I will continue to stand in support of it.”

“Schools and other organizations that install clean diesel technology are doing more than just saving money --- they’re creating cleaner, healthier air for children and all community residents,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “This program continues to help thousands of children breathe easier and lead safer lives year after year.”

Nine percent of New Jerseyans suffer from asthma and, additionally, our most-rapidly growing minority populations are incredibly vulnerable – with over 3.6 million Latinos in the U.S.  living with asthma, including ten percent of Latino children.

In addition to the daily public health risks caused by pollution, it also drives longer-term risks in the form of rising seas levels and more unpredictable weather. The Northeast has seen the largest increases in extreme precipitation in the United States, including dealing with Superstorm Sandy, and reducing dirty diesel emissions can help curb that trend.

The EPA has implemented standards to make newer diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and pre-date these standards. Nearly 17,000 of our country’s schools are located within steps of a heavily-traveled road, potentially exposing more than six million children to traffic-related pollution at a time when their developing lungs are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution. 

These New Jersey rebates are part of the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program’s third round of funding. Sens. Menendez and Booker signed a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee in March urging them to increase DERA funding by $10 million in FY 2016. More than $7 million in rebates to replace or retrofit 400 older diesel school buses were just announced around the country. Since 2008, the DERA program has funded more than 650 clean diesel projects across the country, reducing emissions in more than 60,000 engines. Click here for more information about this rebate program.

New Jersey Rebate Details:

  • Southhampton
    20 school buses
    Rebate goes to Garden State Transport, Inc.
  • Secaucus
    9 school buses
    Rebate goes to the Secaucus Board of Education
  • Thorofare
    5 school buses
    Rebate goes to H.A. DeHart Transportation Co.
  • Wall
    5 school buses
    Rebate goes to the Wall Board of Education
  • Vineland
    3 school buses
    Rebate goes to Vineland Public Schools