Merkley, Wyden Announce Over $500,000 Investment to Help Oregon School Districts Replace Old Diesel School Buses

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announced that the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) will receive $507,425 in federal funding to support the repowering or replacement of 15 diesel powered school buses, and at least three other pieces of diesel powered equipment, with lower emitting alternatives.

The switch to more sustainable buses and equipment will reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter, in addition to other pollutants like carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and hydrocarbons.

“Our fight to protect the health and well-being of our communities and our planet as a whole depends on our ability to slash pollution,” said Merkley. “Upgrading Oregon school districts’ bus fleets with sustainable vehicles makes the air our students are breathing cleaner and safer and helps in our battle to stop climate chaos from wrecking our environment and our economy. I’m pleased that this funding will help make some of those upgrades possible, and will continue to work to help communities across Oregon secure critical resources to cut pollution.”

“The path to a more sustainable climate depends on attacking the pollution that poisons our air,” Wyden said. “These federal funds take a good step in that direction by helping to ensure Oregon students aren’t inhaling diesel fumes when they’re on a school bus, and I’ll keep battling to help school districts and communities statewide on their paths to a greener future with cleaner air for everybody.”

“Diesel engines are a major source of air pollution in Oregon,” said DEQ Director Richard Whitman. “This grant allows the state to continue making progress on cleaning up our legacy fleet and improving air quality for everyone.

The funding is being distributed by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act program.