BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Schools will receive a $100,000 grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to support the replacement of five school buses. The EPA offers funding for projects through the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). Upshur County Schools were awarded funding to fulfill the request of replacing one transit bus, one special needs bus, and three conventional buses that have fulfilled their life span based on West Virginia Department of Education transportation guidelines.
Upshur County Schools have received DERA Grant funding for three consecutive years. DERA helps to improve air quality and protect human health by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines. According to WV Code, bus replacement funding is based on a 12-year replacement cycle. Counties receive 8.33% of the current replacement value of a bus each year.
However, if the bus reaches 180.000 miles before the completion of the 12-year replacement cycle, the county receives reimbursement for the years remaining in the cycle. Jodie Akers, Upshur County Schools Transportation Director, shares, “We are excited to be the recipient of the DERA grant for the third consecutive year. This funding will allow us to replace buses to further ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and community.”
Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus states, “This program allows us to replace our old diesel school buses with new buses that are certified to EPA’s cleanest emission standards. This is great for the environment, for our drivers, but most importantly, for our students.”