The clock is ticking—It’s time to take advantage of no-cost diesel retrofits for your school buses. As of October of last year, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (the DEQ) opened their Diesel Grant Program to previously non-selected school districts. But you must act quickly, because the assistance of up to 100% to replace existing exhaust controls ends when 450 buses are serviced.
Even the EPA urges taking steps to retrofit existing buses to prevent exhaust pollution. Now, you can finally get your busses back into smooth working order and put an end to billowing exhaust smoke at no cost to you!
Our emissions consultants, Bob Gaffney and Stephen Davis, are well versed on the particulars of the Oregon DEQ Diesel Grant Program. Here are their answers to your frequently asked questions, our FAQs for landing free exhaust control retrofits for your school buses:
1. Do your buses qualify for the DEQ Diesel Grant Program? There are only three requirements:
1. Buses must have operated in Oregon for the past year and will continue to operate in Oregon for the next three years
2. Buses must have at least three years of operational life
3. Buses should be of the model years of 2002-2007 but DEQ can approve older engines too back to the 1990’s
2. What does the DEQ Diesel Grant Program cover? You’ll receive assistance for as much 100% of the funds needed to pay for and install diesel exhaust controls, or just 30% (or up to $50,000) towards replacing the vehicles. Why spend money when you can simply get a diesel retrofit from AECS for free???
3. How do you get started on the application process? Here are our quick and easy steps:
1. Complete and submit the grant program application for funding to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to include a valid DUNS number (register DUNS at the federal System Awards Management (SAM) website)
2. Complete the Fleet Information Excel Spreadsheet to describe your eligible school buses
3. Submit cost estimates—Get quotes from AECS. Contact us, ask for our emissions consultants by name, and we’ll crunch the numbers to provide the estimates you need to finish the application process.
IMPORTANT: If your application materials are incomplete, you’ll have only 10 business days to provide missing information. Make sure you’re good to go at the outset. Let AECS assist you. Our emissions consultants are happy to walk you through the procedure.
4. Why are these funds available? You’ll notice that the application materials refer to the Volkswagen Mitigation Fund. Since 2009, Volkswagen Group of America sold diesel passenger cars that contained emission control defeat devices that were in violation of federal motor vehicle emission requirements.
In Consent Decrees that were approved in October 2017 and May 2018, Volkswagen agreed to provide over $2.9 billion to an Environmental Mitigation Fund to mitigate excess emissions of nitrogen oxides by these non-compliant vehicles across the United States. The initial allocation to the state of Oregon totaled approximately $72.9 million to be spent over a period of ten years.
The Oregon DEQ prioritized old school buses for emission reductions, because many are known to emit elevated pollution levels, and young children are especially vulnerable to the adverse health affects of airborne pollutants. For more information, read the report on the evolution of the DEQ Diesel Grant program.
5. Where can you get more information? Visit the DEQ School Bus Replacement Program web page, watch the Overview of Diesel School Bus Replacement Program YouTube video, and download and review the Application and Fleet Information spreadsheet. Better yet, take a quick and easy detour and contact Mr. Gaffney or Mr. Davis, our in-house consultants, to answer your specific questions and get you on the road to no-cost diesel emission upgrades for your school district’s school buses. Reach them at 559-240-6076 before funding runs out.