By Jessica Mathews/

A grant program will help replace diesel school buses in some local districts that will reduce oxides of nitrogen, greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions.

Michigan school districts will replace 300 older diesel buses with models powered by clean diesel and propane engines under grants awarded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). More than $8.7 million in grants will be awarded under EGLE’s Fuel transformation Program. Locally the Livingston Educational Service Agency will receive $66,750 to purchase three diesel buses and Dexter Community Schools will receive $211,198 for eight diesel buses. Whitmore Lake Public Schools was awarded $47,500 and will purchase two diesel buses. Jack Schinderle, Director of EGLE’s Materials Management Division, says replacing older, diesel engines with clean diesel or propane, delivers savings for school districts and will also improve public health at bus stops, on school grounds, and in communities. The selected districts will have the new buses on the road within the next two years.

The grants are supported with dollars allocated to Michigan from a settlement with Volkswagen. The settlement was a result of Volkswagen’s Clean Air Act violations related to the installation of emissions control defeat devices on thousands of diesel engine vehicles. As part of the settlement, Michigan was allocated a total of $64.8 million and will use 21.5% of that total to replace old diesel school buses.

More information about the Fuel Transformation Program can be found through the provided link.