Several Calif. School Districts Draw Funding for CNG Buses, Stations
LONG BEACH, Calif. --- The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has awarded $3.9 million to help several school districts install natural gas fueling stations and purchase natural gas-powered buses.
"School children are exposed to harmful diesel exhaust while riding older diesel buses," said William A. Burke, Ed.D., chairman of the SCAQMD. "Replacing dirty diesel buses with clean-burning natural gas models will help protect the health of school children and community residents."
In addition to reducing smog-forming and toxic emissions, compressed natural gas (CNG) powered buses can save fuel costs for school districts. At current prices, the cost of CNG is half of the price of an equivalent amount of diesel fuel, according to the International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles (IANGV).
The IANGV said that SCAQMD awards announced last month include:
- $1.3 million to the Colton Joint Unified School District to purchase eight CNG buses
- $696,869 to the Capistrano Unified School District to help pay for a new CNG station
- $617,480 to the Los Angeles Unified School District to help pay for a new CNG station
- $525,000 to the Redlands Unified School District to help pay for a new CNG station
- $288,000 to the Beaumont Unified School District to help pay for a new CNG station
- $187,154 to Pupil Transportation Cooperative, which provides school bus services to several school districts in the Whittier area, to upgrade an existing CNG station
- $124,550 to the Coachella Valley Unified School District to help pay for a new CNG station
- $87,500 to the Menifee Unified School District to help pay for a new CNG station.
Since 2000, AQMD's board has been a national leader in adopting policies and providing incentives to replace dirty diesel school buses with alternative-fuel models. To date, AQMD has approved $87 million to purchase 513 new school buses --- including 427 CNG and 86 lower-emission diesel models --- as well as CNG fueling infrastructure and 2,553 particulate traps to reduce emissions from diesel buses.
CNG school buses on average emit four times less smog-forming nitrogen oxides and 10 times less particulate matter than the diesel buses they replace, the IANGV said. In addition, CNG buses emit no diesel soot, which is the source of about 70 percent of all air pollution cancer risk in the region.