VW Settlement Recommendations Submitted to DEC

Latham, NY, November 15, 2017 — The New York State Bus Distributors Association submitted its VW settlement school bus replacement recommendations to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today.

The Associations recommendations include:

  • The New York State Bus Distributors Association believe $20 million, or approximately 14% of New York’s VW settlement allocation, should be committed to a DERA-like school bus replacement program over a maximum of three-years
  • NYSBDA’s estimates that New York’s VW settlement diesel emissions reduction program will be almost 20 times more effective than the New York portion of the federal DERA program by removing approximately 1,000 older engine technology school buses from New York’s roads
  • NYSBDA is recommending the program include all school buses with engine model years prior to 2007 – these buses must be active or currently in operation – we suggest following DERA parameters on active school buses
  • We recommend using the DERA reimbursement amounts – ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 per school bus
  • NYSBDA estimates that approximately 1,000 school buses will be removed over a three-year period
  • The immediate positive effect on the environment will be a reduction of between 250 and 780 tons of NOx per year – depending on the power source of the new/replacement school bus
  • The highest concentration of replacement school buses will be clean-diesel, then propane – very few will be CNG or electric
  • Like the DERA program, a higher reimbursement amount will be needed for 2007 emission standard school buses vs 2004 model year and older school buses due to replacement cost and use
  • Given that all school buses must meet or exceed 2010 emissions standards, all current and viable engine/power technologies should be eligible as replacements (clean-diesel, propane, CNG, LNG, electric, etc.) with a separate program for potential infrastructure improvements
  • New York State’s program should be modeled after the DERA voucher or lottery program and ensure payment is made upon delivery – this helps smaller companies that might not have the financial capacity to enter into longer term transactions
  • Reimbursement levels per school bus should meet or exceed the DERA program and should be adjusted to reflect current and future prices especially if DEC envisions a multi-year program
  • Given there are nearly 50,000 school buses transporting over 2.3 million children a day, we recommend that the State of New York set aside at least $20 million for the school bus replacement portion of the overall VW settlement program proposed by New York State (approximately 14% of current VW award for NYS)
  • DEC should be conscious of air quality attainment areas, but the state must also consider the needs of rural and impoverished areas of the state
  • A school bus replacement program will have an immediate impact on emissions reductions – substantiated by the highly successful national DERA program
  • NYSBDA supports the position that school districts and school transportation contractors, which provide school transportation services to school districts, be equally eligible to participate in a school bus replacement program
  • School Districts and private pupil transportation companies replace approximately 2,000 Type-C and D school buses per year through normal rotation schedules, our funding recommendation would increase that number by approximately 333 school buses per year for three years for a total of 1,000 school buses


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