COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Education was the recipient of $480,000 in funds from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as part of a nationwide plan to upgrade diesel older school buses. The funding -- actually rebates through the EPA's Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program -- will allow South Carolina to replace a total of 24 buses from 10 districts across the state.
The EPA says the new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to asthma and lung damage, better protecting health and air quality in communities across the country. The agency awarded nearly $10.5 million to replace 473 older diesel school buses in 40 states.
South Carolina school districts receiving the funding include:
- Clarendon 3 -- 1 bus
- Florence 1 -- 3 buses
- Florence 2 -- 1 bus
- Kershaw 3 -- 3 buses
- Lexington 1 -- 7 buses
- Marion -- 2 buses
- Newberry -- 2 buses
- Pickens -- 3 buses
- Spartanburg 2 -- 1 bus
- Union -- 1 bus
"The South Carolina Department of Education is grateful to receive this funding which will continue the efforts of replacing our state's aging fleet with cleaner and more efficient buses," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.
This funding comes in addition to an April 13 announcement by Gov. Henry McMaster that the state had invested its latest share of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust -- $24.54 million -- to purchase of 235 new propane fueled school buses for districts across the state and three electric transit buses for use in Charleston and Florence.