School-BusSeven rural Iowa school districts will share a total of $185,000 in rebates to replace old diesel school buses to help reduce air pollution.

David Bryan, a spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says six of the Iowa districts selected for the funding will be replacing one school bus.

“That includes the Cherokee Community School District, Columbus Community School District, Odebolt Arthur Community Schools, Starmont Community School District, Waverly-Shell Rock and the West Delaware County Community School District,” Bryan said. “There is one district in Iowa that will receive funding for two buses and that is the North Linn Community School District.”

The new buses the districts purchase are designed to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter linked to such health problems as asthma and lung cancer. “When they receive our funding, what we’re trying to do is make sure the buses they purchase are more than 90-percent cleaner in reducing pollutants,” Bryan said. “These rebates will help each of the school districts start to change their fleet.”

Nationally, 76 school bus fleets in 30 states will receive rebates totaling $3 million. Applicants were randomly selected for the EPA funding to help replace school buses with engine model years of 2006 or older. Bryan notes the EPA has implemented standards to make diesel engines more than 90-percent cleaner, but many older diesel school buses remain in operation and predate those standards.

Here are more details on the Iowa districts receiving EPA funding:

· Cherokee Community School District, $25,000 for one bus
· Columbus Community School District, $40,000 for one bus
· North Linn Community School District, $40,000 for two buses
· Odebolt Arthur Community School, $20,000 for one bus
· Starmont Community School District, $20,000 for one bus
· Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools, $20,000 for one bus
· West Delaware County Community School District, $20,000 for one bus