Beginning in 2009, the Air Division of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality began the Mississippi Diesel Emissions Reduction Program. The goal of this funding opportunity is to implement cost-effective and innovative projects to reduce diesel emissions in our state. Reducing diesel emissions is currently one of the most important air quality challenges in Mississippi. Although more stringent emission standards are taking effect for new heavy-duty on road and non-road engines, the diesel engines currently in use will continue to emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter for years to come. These pollutants affect many areas in our state and our ability to comply with National Ambient Air Quality Standards, especially with ozone, but most importantly they could contribute to public health problems. Since 2014, MDEQ has focused this program on assisting school districts in the state with early replacements of their school buses. The 2016 funding opportunity began on January 14th. School districts have until February 29th to submit their applications to the MDEQ Air Division. Interested school district can contact Chuck Rainey, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (601) 961-5536, or John Jordan, at email@example.com or (601) 961-5678, for addition information and the application package. The application package can also be found by visiting the MDEQ website and searching for Diesel Emission Reduction Grant Program.
MDEQ Air Division staff met with Hancock County School District officials Tuesday to verify the decommissioning of an old bus and posed with a new one purchased with help from an MDEQ Diesel School Bus Replacement Program Grant. L-R: Superintendent Alan Dedeaux MDEQ's Jessica Forbus, Chuck Rainey, Gracie Kelker, and School District Transportation Director Michael Ladner.