For more information, contact:
Brian McManus (402) 471-4223
or Amanda Woita (402) 471-4243
brian.mcmanus@nebraska.gov
amanda.woita@nebraska.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2019

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DEQ Designates $3.1 Million to Reimburse Replacement of Diesel School Buses and Transit Buses

Over $3.1 million in funds that the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has recently received from the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust are now beginning to be distributed to local recipients for diesel vehicle replacement programs.

NDEQ received payments from the VW Trust Funds to support two projects:
  • School bus replacements -- A payment of $1,891,527 has been designated to assist Nebraska school districts in replacing older diesel school buses with new, cleaner diesel or propane-fueled buses. Each of the 41 participating school districts will receive partial funding to purchase one new replacement bus. They will receive either 50% reimbursement for a new diesel bus (maximum payment $42,000) or 60% reimbursement (maximum $57,000) for a new propane-fueled bus that meets stricter emissions requirements. Several school districts have completed their projects and received their reimbursement. (See the attached table for a complete list of the schools and amounts awarded, or view this information online at http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW-3.)
  • Transit bus replacements -- A payment to NDEQ of $1,255,206 will fund the replacement of two diesel transit buses for Lincoln StarTran and two for Omaha Metro. The funds for Lincoln StarTran will aid in the purchase of two battery-electric transit buses, supplementing federal grant funds. Omaha Metro will use the VW funds as partial payment for the purchase of two rapid-transit buses fueled by compressed natural gas. These 60-foot long, articulated buses will operate as part of the new Omaha Rapid Bus Transit (ORBT) service that will operate on Dodge Street between Westroads and downtown Omaha beginning in fall 2019.

NDEQ estimates that, over an estimated lifetime of 15 years for the new school buses and transit buses, emissions of nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 29 tons and particulates by 1 ton.

“The new buses will have much lower emissions than the buses they are replacing,” said NDEQ Director Jim Macy. “As a result, school children, transit bus passengers, and the public along the bus routes will experience substantially reduced exposure to these harmful diesel pollutants.”

As a part of the U.S. District Court settlement against Volkswagen in 2016, Nebraska became eligible to receive $12.25 million from the VW Trust Fund. Those funds must be used to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions into the ambient air as an offset to unlawful emissions by certain VW vehicles. NDEQ is the agency overseeing the disbursement of VW funds. Funds are transferred from the Trust to the state upon request to fund specific projects.

In addition to the projects described here, NDEQ is using VW funds to supplement federal funding of the Nebraska Clean Diesel program, and future projects are expected to include the funding of public electric vehicle charging stations, among other projects. For more information about the Volkswagen Trust, go to http://deq.ne.gov/NDEQProg.nsf/OnWeb/AirVW

Nebraska Diesel Emission Mitigation Program
List of 2018 School Bus Replacement Rebate Recipients
Updated: Jan. 23, 2019

Below is a table that provides a list of all school districts to which NDEQ anticipates awarding a 2018 School Bus Replacement Rebate upon completion of their projects.

School
City
Expected
Rebate
New BusFuel
Alma Public Schools
Alma
$42,000
Diesel
Anselmo-Merna Public School
Merna
$42,000
Diesel
Bayard Public Schools
Bayard
$42,000
Diesel
Beatrice Public Schools
Beatrice
$42,000
Diesel
Bellevue Public Schools
Bellevue
$42,000
Diesel
Bertrand Public Schools
Bertand
$42,000
Diesel
Blair Community Schools
Blair
$42,000
Diesel
Brady Public Schools
Brady
$42,000
Diesel
Bridgeport Public Schools
Bridgeport
$39,225
Diesel
Centennial Public School
Utica
$54,684
Propane
Cozad Community Schools
Cozad
$42,000
Diesel
Elkhorn Valley Schools
Tilden
$42,000
Diesel
Elm Creek Public Schools
Elm Creek
$42,000
Diesel
Fillmore Central Schools
Geneva
$42,000
Diesel
Fort Calhoun Community Schools
Fort Calhoun
$42,000
Diesel
Fremont Public Schools
Fremont
$42,000
Diesel
Giltner Public Schools
Giltner
$42,000
Diesel
Gordon-Rushville Public Schools
Gordon
$42,000
Diesel
Hampton Public School
Hampton
$42,000
Diesel
Hartington-Newcastle Public Schools
Hartington
$40,437.50
Diesel
Heartland Schools
Henderson
$40,619.50
Diesel
HTRS Public Schools
Humboldt
$42,000
Diesel
Kearney Public Schools
Kearney
$57,000
Propane
Lewiston Consolidated Schools
Lewiston
$42,000
Diesel
Lexington Public Schools
Lexington
$42,000
Diesel
Loomis Public Schools
Loomis
$55,890
Propane
Louisville Public School District #32
Louisville
$41,743
Diesel
Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools
Neligh
$41,742.50
Diesel
North Bend Central Public Schools
North Bend
$42,000
Diesel
Ogallala Public Schools
Ogallala
$42,000
Diesel
Osmond Community Schools
Osmond
$41,896
Diesel
Overton Public Schools
Overton
$42,000
Diesel
Paxton Consolidated Schools
Paxton
$39,605
Diesel
Ravenna Public Schools
Ravenna
$42,000
Diesel
Seward School District
Seward
$41,510
Diesel
South Sioux City Community Schools
South Sioux City
$42,000
Diesel
Stanton Community Schools
Stanton
$41,575
Diesel
Stapleton Public Schools
Stapleton
$47,819.40
Propane
Tri County Public Schools
Dewitt
$41,707
Diesel
Wallace School District
Wallace
$42,000
Diesel
York Public Schools
York
$42,000
Diesel