Eligible applicants include municipalities, school districts, State agencies, departments, and public authorities. The program seeks to maximize the environmental, energy, and economic benefits of introducing emission-reduction technology for New York State diesel-fueled school buses. The program funds can be used to cover 100 percent of the cost, including installation of the equipment on an existing bus, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified/verified emission-reducing technology such as: particulate traps or filters and oxidation catalyst that decrease emissions of particulate matter, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and/or toxic air pollutants are eligible.
In evaluating projects, priority will be given to projects that:
- Result in greatest emissions reduction per Program dollar invested;
- Are located in areas where air quality improvements are needed;
- Leverage co-funding by the applicant or others; and
- Support emerging technologies.
Round I of the program used funds from New York State's 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. The program awarded $5 million to 74 school districts to retrofit more than 2,000 school buses. Diesel particulate filters, diesel oxidation catalyst, and closed crankcase filter systems decrease emissions of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and toxic air pollutants by as much as 50 percent, and emissions of particulate matter by as much as 90 percent.