The Centerville City Schools Transportation Department was awarded a $206,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toward the cost of replacing school buses.

Centerville schools get EPA grant to help buy low-emission buses

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The EPA’s Clean Diesel Program supports projects that protect health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines. This program includes grants and rebates funded under the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.

The grant covers about 20 percent of the cost to replace 10 model year 2005-07 diesel-powered school buses with 10 model year 2021 clean diesel buses.

“This grant helps us in two ways — we’re adding buses with cleaner engines to our fleet, and we’re able to offset part of the cost of purchasing new buses for the district,” said Andy Trick, the district’s transportation supervisor. “We’re very excited about this opportunity and plan to continue looking into grant options to help with future transportation programs.”

Centerville’s was one of 41 projects to receive funding from the Diesel Mitigation Trust Fund, with projects totaling approximately $13 million.

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Trick said in addition to being more environmentally friendly, new buses also include updated safety features, such as Electronic Stability Control.

According to Jon Wesney, Centerville Schools’ director of business operations, the average length of service for buses in the fleet is about 15 years.

Buying a few buses each year allows the district to upgrade the entire fleet over time rather than all at once. These new buses, which are funded with the grant money and through the district’s Permanent Improvement Fund, will be in service for the 2020-21 school year.

Centerville Schools operates more than 120 buses, which travel more than 600 bus routes every day. More than 8,000 students are driven by Centerville’s Transportation Department staff to 15 public and 15 non-public schools.

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