EPA Requests Applications for Grants to Help Reduce Diesel Emissions from School Buses

WASHINGTON (September 30, 2019) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of approximately $10 million in rebates to public school bus fleet owners to help them replace older school buses. Upgrading buses with older engines reduces diesel emissions and improves air quality. Tomorrow marks the start of Children’s Health Month, and today’s announcement is an important part of the agency’s commitment to protecting children’s health and their future.

“Children’s health is a top priority for EPA, and these grants will help provide cleaner air and a safer, more reliable ride to and from school for America’s children,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This DERA funding reflects our broader children’s health agenda and commitment to ensure all children can live, learn, and play in healthy and clean environments.”

EPA standards for new diesel engines can make them more than 90% cleaner than older ones, but many older diesel engines still in operation predate these standards. Older diesel engines emit large quantities of pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), which have been linked to serious health problems such as aggravated asthma and lung damage.

EPA will accept applications from Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, to Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

This is the seventh rebate program to fund cleaner school buses offered under Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) appropriations. Nearly 30,000 buses across the country have already been made cleaner as a result of DERA funding.

To learn more about the rebate program, applicant eligibility, selection process and informational webinar dates, visit: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates.

Questions about applying may be directed to: [email protected].

FHWA Air Quality and Sustainable Transport Highlights

The purpose of this message is to inform you that the latest issue of the FHWA Air Quality and Sustainable Transport Highlights is now available.

The Highlights provide the latest news and information on transportation related air quality and sustainability activities, including information on transportation conformity, resiliency, and other related activities.

FHWA-HEP-19-043 – Highlights – July-August 2019

Items of interest in this issue include:

  • FHWA Released 2015 8 Hour Ozone Non-Attainment Area Maps
  • FHWA Issues Implementation Guide on Nature-Based Solutions for Coastal Resilience
  • FHWA Released New and Updated Tools for the CMAQ Emissions Calculator Toolkit

Past issues of the Air Quality and Conformity Highlights are available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/conformity/highlights/

Past issues of the Sustainable Transport Newsletter are available at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/sustainability/newsletter/index.cfm

Guidance on New R-LINE Additions to AERMOD 19191 now available

EPA’s “Guidance on New R-LINE Additions to AERMOD 19191 for Refined Transportation Project Analyses” is now final and available online at:  https://www.epa.gov/state-and-local-transportation/project-level-conformity-and-hot-spot-analyses

A direct link to the guidance:  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-09/documents/420b19042.pdf

On August 21, 2019, EPA released a new version of its preferred dispersion model, AERMOD 19191. AERMOD 19191 builds upon the previous version of AERMOD, AERMOD 18081, and adds new features from EPA’s R-LINE model. Information about AERMOD and this latest release can be found on EPA’s website at: https://www.epa.gov/scram/air-quality-dispersion-modeling-preferred-and-recommended-models. This guidance is part of the resources EPA is providing with the release of AERMOD 19191. It addresses the use of the new R-LINE features in AERMOD 19191 for dispersion modeling of transportation sources.

Link to the Pre-publication Version of the SAFE Final Rule

On September 19, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final action entitled the “One National Program Rule” to enable the federal government to provide nationwide uniform fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for automobile and light duty trucks.

This action finalizes critical parts of the Safer, Affordable, Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule that was first proposed in August 2018. The pre-publication rule and fact sheet can be found at:

https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/final-rule-one-national-program-federal-preemption-state

Proposed DFW and HGB Area SIP and RULE Revisions Available for Early Review

Agenda is scheduled for September 11, 2019, and the comment period would open on September 13, 2019.