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YUHSD board approves grant for new, fuel-efficient buses

The Yuma Union High School District Governing Board approved, by way of a 5-0 vote, a grant to fund the purchase of seven new school buses at its monthly meeting last week.

The Maricopa County Air Quality Development Grant, which totals $279,229, was presented to the board and Transportation Director Ron Schepers. It will allow the district to purchase seven fuel-efficient, propane buses that will replace three 1995 buses and four 1997 buses in the fleet.

“Yuma County will now see a reduction in emissions from those buses by over 95 percent,” Maricopa County Air Quality Grant Program Administrator Larz Garcia told the board.  

The grant is part of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), which was funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to replace legacy diesel school buses and heavy-duty trucks. According to West Coast Collaborative, a public-partnership to reduce diesel emissions, these upgrades are estimated to reduce emissions of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by 1 ton, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 13.6 tons, hydrocarbons (HC) by 1.8 tons, carbon monoxide (CO) by 4.6 tons, and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 196 tons. The project will also conserve over 71,000 gallons of diesel fuel through propane school bus replacements.

Eric Patten