EPA program allows bus companies to replace old diesel engines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing $100,000 to replace five older school buses in Delaware.

The funds are among $11.5 million in rebates from the EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program, which will replace 580 older diesel buses nationwide.

In Delaware, $20,000 will go to Hill’s Bus Service, which services the Milford School District, and $80,000 will go to Sutton Bus and Truck Company Inc., which services the Red Clay Consolidated and Christina School Districts, as well as charter schools.

Dave Sutton owns Sutton Bus and Truck Company in Wilmington, which received program rebates for five buses in 2016. This year, he’ll use the rebates to replace four.

“We started using propane when we started this program. It’s much cleaner and more efficient, more sustainable,” Sutton said.

About 35 percent of Sutton’s 70-bus fleet is now propane-fueled, as opposed to diesel. He hopes to eventually have a 100 percent propane fleet.

Older diesel engines emit large amounts of pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. In addition to the environmental damage these pollutants cause, they are also linked to asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems.

For more information about the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program, visit epa.gov/cleandiesel.