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The Georgia Retrofit Program

Program Information

The Georgia Retrofit Program started as a pilot program designed to provide funding assistance to help school systems in the twenty county metro Atlanta non-attainment area reduce emissions from their school bus fleets. With over 1000 school buses retrofitted to date, this program has been expanded to cover the State of Georgia. Environmental Protection Division Staff continues to apply for grant funding to help school systems retrofit their buses. We are expanding to help other types of fleets as well.

The Georgia Retrofit Program is supported by a national effort, initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Clean Diesel Campaign, to substantially reduce emissions from diesel vehicles. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) applied and received funding through Clean School Bus USA to launch the Georgia program. This grant was successful in retrofitting 56 school buses in the metro Atlanta area. EPD also applied for funding through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) to leverage the early introduction of ultra low sulfur diesel in metro Atlanta and to retrofit at least 300 additional school buses. EPD was fortunate to receive these grants.

The third source of funding that EPD received was the Georgia Pacific Supplemental Environmental Program (GA Pacific SEP). This SEP was for 3.4 million dollars and was used to retrofit the eligible buses in the Atlanta City Public School’s bus fleet. As there was still money available after the completing the APS project, GA Pacific agreed to retrofit the 2005 and 2006 buses of 10 other counties. In total this SEP has retrofit 738 school buses.

Outreach is a major component of the program, as most of the grants EPD applies for require matching funds. EPD partnered with the Georgia Conservancy, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, The Clean Air Campaign and the organizations that form Mothers & Others for Clean Air to provide outreach assistance and technical support to help school systems reach out to their communities to raise the necessary funds to retrofit their buses. The school systems will in turn agree to implement an emissions reduction plan, consisting of retrofitting existing buses, using best management practices, purchasing cleaner fuels, and purchasing cleaner school buses.

With clean bus and clean diesel solutions available and affordable through the Georgia Retrofit program, we all have the opportunity to provide a SAFER and CLEANER ride to school for our children as well as a CLEANER ride for fleets in general. School systems may apply for a Georgia Retrofit grant and civic organizations and businesses can support the program by making a donation that will be used to help purchase retrofit equipment for buses. Fleets may follow the links provided on this site to find information on funding opportunities and best management practices as well.

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2009 Georgia Retrofit Program