The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced Monday that 39 school systems and bus contractors would divide a total of $8,854,685.42 to replace at least one aging bus with a new diesel, alternate-fueled, or all-electric school bus.
The competitive grant program is funded by the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT), which is meant to help reduce harmful emissions.
“These grants will help us to better protect our children and our environment,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “Investing in technologically-advanced transportation updates, particularly in our rural counties, is one way we are supporting the health and safety of our students.”
Several East Tennessee districts will benefit, including:
Campbell County School System
Fentress County Board of Education
Greene County Schools
Hancock County School System
Lynch Bus Lines, LLC (services Knox County Schools)
Morgan County Board of Education
Oneida Special School District
Roane County Board of Education
Scott County School District
SCU Bus Lines (services Knox County Schools)
Sevier County Schools
“Projects supported by this program will reduce air pollutants that threaten public health and the environment,” said David Salyers, commissioner of TDEC. “By lowering school bus emissions, we can enhance quality of life in our state, particularly for our children.”
The 39 grant winners will replace a total of 143 engine model year 2009 or older school buses with 68 new diesel, one all-electric, 66 propane, and eight compressed natural gas school buses.