HELENA, Mont. (NMB) – The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has awarded six school districts, including Harlem Public Schools, with clean school bus replacement grants. The grants will help school districts replace older diesel school buses with newer diesel, propane and gasoline models to help reduce air pollution.
DEQ awarded grants to the Columbia Falls, East Helena, Frenchtown, Harlem, Kalispell and Twin Bridges School Districts. The grants will fund a total of nine new buses with Columbia Falls receiving two buses, Kalispell receiving three buses and the rest receiving one each.
Older diesel buses release nitrogen oxides which can lead to asthma and respiratory illnesses, especially in children and older adults who are known to be at increased risk. DEQ’s Clean School Bus Replacement program aims to reduce kids’ exposure to harmful diesel exhaust from old diesel buses across the state.
In a statement, Harlem Superintendent Dr. Arlene Bigby said, “Harlem Schools put a lot of miles on our buses, so when an opportunity came to get assistance in replacing one of our vehicles, we took advantage. We appreciate the support we received to purchase a new vehicle, especially one that will be more efficient and environmentally friendly.”
DEQ awarded $247,500 in funding for the nine schools buses. The grants awarded by DEQ are funded through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA).
Courtesy of DEQ