The following is a press release from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy that was released on July 21, 2020.

A consortium of four school districts has been awarded $450,000 to replace diesel buses that are at least 12 years old with new propane- and diesel-powered vehicles.

Hamilton Community Schools led the consortium that was the successful applicant from among 20 candidates for grants under the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Funding is allocated through the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Diesel Program, which is administered by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Grant money will be used toward the purchase of 12 propane buses and one clean diesel bus to replace vehicles from model years 2000-07:

  • Hamilton Community Schools will replace four diesel buses with four propane buses.
  • Allendale Public Schools will replace seven diesel buses with seven propane buses.
  • Allendale Christian School will replace one diesel bus with one propane bus.
  • Saugatuck Public Schools will replace one diesel bus with a new diesel bus.

“Diesel emissions from older buses are not only immediately harmful to Michigan’s children, but they contribute to long-term damage to the environment and climate,” said Robert Jackson, assistant division director of EGLE’s Materials Management Division. “The new buses will reduce exposure to harmful exhaust fumes and airborne particles while students are riding or getting on and off buses, and in school where exhaust can be drawn into buildings where students spend most of their days.”

Applicant proposals were rated on reductions in nitrous oxides and fine particulate matter, both of which contribute to unhealthy air; request for proposal criteria; and application completeness. The Hamilton consortium received the highest score.

More funding is expected to be announced later this year for bus replacements and information will be posted to EGLE’s Clean Diesel Program and Fuel Transformation Program websites.