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Education

Two W.Va. Counties Receive Funding To Replace Older School Buses

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Cecelia Mason
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Upshur and Berkeley counties are getting some new, cleaner school buses.

The Upshur County Board of Education will be awarded $160,000 to receive eight new school buses, and Berkeley County Schools will see $20,000 to replace one bus.

The funding was awarded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and made available through rebates from the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). The intent of the program is to replace older, diesel school buses that are less energy efficient.

In a press release from West Virginia’s two U.S. Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, the lawmakers said the replacements will help lead to more reliable and safe transportation and also emit less pollutants linked to asthma and lung damage.

“DERA is an example of common sense, bipartisan legislation that is a win for states and federal governments alike,” Capito said. “These new buses will help ... create overall healthier conditions for our students.”

According to DERA’s website, diesel exhaust can be especially harmful to children who have faster breathing rates than adults and whose lungs are still developing.

“Every West Virginian deserves clean air to breathe,” said Manchin. “The EPA’s investment to clean up school buses in Upshur and Berkeley Counties is great news for our state.”

DERA reports on average, school buses travel about four billion miles every year, transporting more than 25 million American children everyday.

As of June 30, 2020, West Virginia has 3,983 school buses, according to the West Virginia Department of Education. Of that figure, 3,894 use diesel engines, 24 are gasoline powered, and 65 use propane.


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