EPA Clean Diesel Program Awards Toms River Schools $200k In Rebates

Through the EPA Clean Diesel Rebate Program, the district is incentivized to scrap old buses and replace them with more efficient models. Last year the district replaced this 1996 school bus with a more fuel-efficient 2018 model, and earned a rebate in the process as part of the program. (Photo courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools)
Photo courtesy of Toms River Regional Schools

TOMS RIVER – For the third consecutive year, Toms River Regional Schools’ application has been selected by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Diesel Rebate Program, and the district is now eligible to receive $200,000 in rebates to replace old buses with more efficient models this year.

The mission of the Clean Diesel Rebate Program, which has been in effect since 2012, is to “encourage school bus fleet turnover so more children can ride buses with the cleanest emissions standards,” and to reduce harmful emissions.

“What began as a ‘heads up’ email from one of our high school science teachers has now, to date, resulted in more than half a million dollars we’ve been able to reinvest in our classrooms through this rebate program,” said Superintendent David Healy. “I’m forever impressed by how far a little communication can go, and I’m grateful to the EPA for selecting us once again.”

Indeed, the district became aware of the EPA’s Clean Diesel Rebate Program thanks to authentic science research (ASR) teacher Christine Girtain, who emailed a handful of administrators about the opportunity in 2016. It landed with the grants department, which has been working with the transportation department ever since to apply for the program and to see the rebate process through two full cycles.

The 2018-2019 selection will add to the $345,000 in bus rebates the district has earned through the Clean Diesel Rebate Program. In addition to the money saved, Toms River Regional Schools has improved traveling conditions for students through its its bus fleet– which is the largest board-owned fleet in the state– by placing less toxic, more fuel-efficient, and up-to-date vehicles on the road each year.

The EPA selected the district’s 2018-2019 application in full, and will provide rebates for the replacement of 10 buses. Because of the ongoing funding crisis, the district may– as it has done in the past– opt to replace old buses with smaller models, which qualify for reduced rebates.

For more information about the EPA’s Clean Diesel Rebate Program, visit https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-rebates.