Reps. Daley, Malagari announce $896K grant for school buses

HARRISBURG, Sept. 29 – State Reps. Mary Jo Daley and Steve Malagari announced the awarding of a state grant that would fund the purchase of energy-efficient school buses and improve air quality in Montgomery County and across the state.

First Student Inc., serving Montgomery, Dauphin and Washington counties, received an award of $896,175 to supply 35 energy-efficient school buses through funding from the Driving PA Forward - Truck & Bus Fleet Grant Program.

“I am thrilled to have received this influx in funding for the 148th Legislative District as we continue to proactively reduce our carbon footprint,” Daley said. “Investments in clean-running vehicles get us one step closer to our overall goal of a future where clean energy, in all forms, usurps the use of fossil fuels. I look forward to bringing more state funding to my district that expands and hones upon the idea of clean energy.”

Funding for the grant program comes from the Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund (as a result of a settlement against Volkswagen) and the Zero Emission Vehicle Fund.

“I’m thankful to see this grant approved, providing for the purchase of school buses in my district,” Malagari said. “Diesel is a more energy-efficient option than gasoline, and the new clean-diesel powered buses will help to improve air quality by reducing emissions in the communities of the 53rd Legislative District and around the state.”

The awards are for conversions of older diesel-powered vehicles to new clean diesel-powered vehicles leading to air quality benefits in high priority, high population density, and high traffic density areas.

“We are grateful to the awardees for their commitment to converting their vehicle fleets to clean diesel-powered vehicles, which decreases air pollutants, making Pennsylvania’s air cleaner,” said state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell.

Conversions to clean diesel trucks and buses reduce large amounts of nitrogen oxide pollution from these vehicles, leading to less fine particulate matter and ozone formation. The recommended projects will also reduce hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.