Governor Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Goodman have announced that 93 school districts have applied for and been awarded $8.13 million to replace 169 older diesel school buses with cleaner diesel or propane buses.
In 2016, the U.S. Justice Department settled claims against Volkswagen for using defeat devices in 2009-2016 Volkswagen diesel vehicles, which allowed the vehicles to emit up to 40 percent more nitrogen oxides than allowed under the Clean Air Act.
As Attorney General, Governor Beshear secured Kentucky’s share of the settlement, $20.3 million awarded from the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust.
In his first budget as Governor, he recommended that the settlement funds be used to replace more than 150 school buses across the state.
The Kentucky General Assembly authorized $8.5 million to reimburse local school districts for up to 50 percent of the cost to replace up to five school buses per district. Buses to be replaced were those in daily operation with a chassis year of 2001 or earlier.
The 2020 General Assembly developed a spending plan for the funds and approved expenditures beginning July 1, 2020.
There is $393,000 remaining in the fund. Fiscal Year 2020 authorizing legislation provided that unexpended Restricted Funds appropriated shall become available for expenditure in the 2020-2022 biennium.
Under the program, districts receive reimbursement once they show they have received the new bus and stopped using the old one.