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Volkswagen settlement money will be used to help buy school buses

Back of a school bus

The State of Michigan is using some of the settlement money from Volkswagen’s Clean Air Act violations to subsidize new school buses. Volkswagen installed a device to fool emissions tests to show its cars polluted less than they did. 

The state received a total of nearly $65 million and more than 20% (almost $9 million) is going to replace old diesel school buses. 

“These grants help to offset some of the costs of purchasing new buses for their school districts. They can replace older diesel buses with either new diesel buses or propane fueled buses,” said Nick Assendelft with the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

Last year the agency spent more than $4 million on 17 electric buses. The latest round of grants will help replace 300 old diesel school buses.

“The state had a portion of money and part of that money had to go to funding cleaner options for vehicles,” Assendelft said.

Idling diesel buses lined up at school can expose young students to particulate matter. The agency says with the new buses, the amount of harmful pollution will be reduced.

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Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.