DEQ designates $3.1 million to reimburse replacement of diesel school buses and transit buses

Over $3.1 million in funds that the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has recently received from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust are now beginning to be distributed to local recipients for diesel vehicle replacement programs.

NDEQ received payments from the VW Trust Funds to support two projects:

  • School bus replacements — A payment of $1,891,527 has been designated to assist Nebraska school districts in replacing older diesel school buses with new, cleaner diesel or propane-fueled buses.  Each of the 41 participating school districts will receive partial funding to purchase one new replacement bus.  They will receive either 50% reimbursement for a new diesel bus (maximum payment $42,000) or 60% reimbursement (maximum $57,000) for a new propane-fueled bus that meets stricter emissions requirements. Several school districts have completed their projects and received their reimbursement. (See the table below for a complete list of the schools and amounts awarded, or view this information online at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW-3.)
  • Transit bus replacements — A payment to NDEQ of $1,255,206 will fund the replacement of two diesel transit buses for Lincoln StarTran and two for Omaha Metro. 

o   The funds for Lincoln StarTran will aid in the purchase of two battery-electric transit buses, supplementing federal grant funds. 

o   Omaha Metro will use the VW funds as partial payment for the purchase of two rapid-transit buses fueled by compressed natural gas.  These 60-foot long, articulated buses will operate as part of the new Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT) service that will operate on Dodge Street between Westroads and downtown Omaha beginning in fall 2019.

NDEQ estimates that, over an estimated lifetime of 15 years for the new school buses and transit buses, emissions of nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 29 tons and particulates by 1 ton.

“The new buses will have much lower emissions than the buses they are replacing,” said NDEQ Director Jim Macy.  “As a result, school children, transit bus passengers, and the public along the bus routes will experience substantially reduced exposure to these harmful diesel pollutants.”

As a part of the U.S. District Court settlement against Volkswagen in 2016, Nebraska became eligible to receive $12.25 million from the VW Trust Fund. Those funds must be used to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions into the ambient air as an offset to unlawful emissions by certain VW vehicles. NDEQ is the agency overseeing the disbursement of VW funds. Funds are transferred from the Trust to the state upon request to fund specific projects.

In addition to the projects described here, NDEQ is using VW funds to supplement federal funding of the Nebraska Clean Diesel program, and future projects are expected to include the funding of public electric vehicle charging stations, among other projects.  For more information about the Volkswagen Trust, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW

Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program

List of 2018 School Bus Replacement Rebate Recipients

Updated: Jan. 23, 2019

 

Below is a table that provides a list of all school districts to which NDEQ anticipates awarding a 2018 School Bus Replacement Rebate upon completion of their projects.

 

 

School

 

City

Expected

Rebate

 

New BusFuel

Alma Public Schools

Alma

$42,000

Diesel

Anselmo-Merna Public School

Merna

$42,000

Diesel

Bayard Public Schools

Bayard

$42,000

Diesel

Beatrice Public Schools

Beatrice

$42,000

Diesel

Bellevue Public Schools

Bellevue

$42,000

Diesel

Bertrand Public Schools

Bertand

$42,000

Diesel

Blair Community Schools

Blair

$42,000

Diesel

Brady Public Schools

Brady

$42,000

Diesel

Bridgeport Public Schools

Bridgeport

$39,225

Diesel

Centennial Public School

Utica

$54,684

Propane

Cozad Community Schools

Cozad

$42,000

Diesel

Elkhorn Valley Schools

Tilden

$42,000

Diesel

Elm Creek Public Schools

Elm Creek

$42,000

Diesel

Fillmore Central Schools

Geneva

$42,000

Diesel

Fort Calhoun Community Schools

Fort Calhoun

$42,000

Diesel

Fremont Public Schools

Fremont

$42,000

Diesel

Giltner Public Schools

Giltner

$42,000

Diesel

Gordon-Rushville Public Schools

Gordon

$42,000

Diesel

Hampton Public School

Hampton

$42,000

Diesel

Hartington-Newcastle Public Schools

Hartington

$40,437.50

Diesel

Heartland Schools

Henderson

$40,619.50

Diesel

HTRS Public Schools

Humboldt

$42,000

Diesel

Kearney Public Schools

Kearney

$57,000

Propane

Lewiston Consolidated Schools

Lewiston

$42,000

Diesel

Lexington Public Schools

Lexington

$42,000

Diesel

Loomis Public Schools

Loomis

$55,890

Propane

Louisville Public School District #32

Louisville

$41,743

Diesel

Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools

Neligh

$41,742.50

Diesel

North Bend Central Public Schools

North Bend

$42,000

Diesel

Ogallala Public Schools

Ogallala

$42,000

Diesel

Osmond Community Schools

Osmond

$41,896

Diesel

Overton Public Schools

Overton

$42,000

Diesel

Paxton Consolidated Schools

Paxton

$39,605

Diesel

Ravenna Public Schools

Ravenna

$42,000

Diesel

Seward School District

Seward

$41,510

Diesel

South Sioux City Community Schools

South Sioux City

$42,000

Diesel

Stanton Community Schools

Stanton

$41,575

Diesel

Stapleton Public Schools

Stapleton

$47,819.40

Propane

Tri County Public Schools

Dewitt

$41,707

Diesel

Wallace School District

Wallace

$42,000

Diesel

York Public Schools

York

$42,000

Diesel

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