MDEQ Awards $296,000 to 12 School Districts for New School Buses

(Jackson, Miss.) — The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has awarded $296,992 to 12 school districts to assist in the purchase of new school buses.  The grants, funded under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), were provided to the school districts by MDEQ’s Air Division toward the purchase of new diesel-powered buses with more stringent pollution controls to replace older buses thus reducing emissions of particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.  Since 2009, the MDEQ Diesel School Bus Replacement Program has awarded more than $1.38 million to 40 school districts for the purchase of 87 school buses.

“I am very pleased that the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has awarded this money to the 12 school districts to aid in the purchase of new school buses with cleaner emissions to transport students to and from school,” said Gov. Phil Bryant.

“Thousands of Mississippi students begin and end their days with a trip on a school bus so helping school districts provide newer, cleaner buses is an ongoing priority for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.  School buses are the safest and most efficient way to transport students, but we want to ensure that it is a healthy trip,” said Gary Rikard, MDEQ Executive Director.

The districts receiving grants were:


  • Enterprise School District (Clarke County) – $15,000 (one bus)


  • Harrison County School District – $30,000 (two buses)


  • Itawamba County School District – $30,000 (two buses)


  • Lee County School District – $58,496 (four buses)


  • Marshall County School District – $30,000 (two buses)


  • Monroe County School District – $15,000 (one bus)


  • Nettleton School District – $15,000 (one bus)


  • North Pike School District – $15,000 (one bus)


  • Oxford School District – $15,000 (one bus)


  • Pontotoc City School District – $15,000 (one bus)


  • West Jasper School District – $43,496 (three buses)


  • Winona-Montogomery Consolidated School District – $15,000 (one bus)


MDEQ encourages school districts to adopt anti-idling policies and the implementation of such a policy is a requirement for the districts that received funds for buses this year.  Stricter emissions standards for diesel engines, including school buses, were implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2007.

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