TDEC Announces Awardees for School Bus Replacement Grant Program Under Volkswagen Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced that the following 39 entities will receive $8,854,685.42 in grant funding to support school bus replacement projects across Tennessee:


Bledsoe County Schools Lynch Bus Lines, LLC (services Knox County Schools)
Bradford Special School District Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
Bristol Tennessee City Schools Morgan County Board of Education
Campbell County School System Obion County Schools
Carroll County Board of Education Oneida Special School District
Clarksville-Montgomery County School System Overton County Schools
Clay County Schools Perry County Schools
Fentress County Board of Education Putnam County Board of Education
Greene County Schools Roane County Board of Education
Grundy County Department of Education Robertson County Schools
Hancock County School System Scott County School District
Hardeman County Board of Education SCU Bus Lines (services Knox County Schools)
Henderson County Board of Education Sequatchie County Board of Education
Hickman County Board of Education Sevier County Schools
Humphreys County Board of Education Stewart County Board of Education
Jackson County Board of Education Van Buren County Schools
JLL Transport, LLC (services Knox County Schools) Warren County Schools
Johnson City Transit (services Johnson City Schools) Washington County Department of Education
KIPP Nashville Weakley County Schools
Lake County Schools  


The competitive grant program, which is the state’s first grant program funded by the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT), will provide financial assistance to grantees to replace a minimum of one eligible school bus with any new diesel, alternate-fueled, or all-electric school bus. The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).


“These grants will help us to better protect our children and our environment,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “Investing in technologically-advanced transportation updates, particularly in our rural counties, is one way we are supporting the health and safety of our students.”


“Projects supported by this program will reduce air pollutants that threaten public health and the environment,” said David Salyers, commissioner of TDEC. “By lowering school bus emissions, we can enhance quality of life in our state, particularly for our children.”


After conducting a comprehensive review of all grant applications, TDEC selected the above-mentioned grantees that will replace a total of 143 engine model year 2009 or older school buses with 68 new diesel, one all-electric, 66 propane, and eight compressed natural gas school buses. These projects are expected to yield NOx emissions reductions of an estimated 117,725.95 pounds, or 58.86 tons, over the lifetime of the new vehicles.


Of the school buses funded, 27 will operate 70 percent or more of the time in former nonattainment areas for ozone and/or fine particulates (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standards; 44 will operate in economically distressed counties, defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission as those counties that rank among the 10 percent most economically distressed counties in the nation based on a three-year average unemployment rate, per capita market income, and poverty rate.


TDEC is the lead agency for administering the state’s VW Settlement EMT allocation; announcements on future funding programs under the EMT will be shared by the department.