New Funding Coming Up for Natural Gas Busing

Starting on January 1, 2012, local air quality management districts, aka air pollution control districts ("APCDs"), will have the ability to grant funds to school districts to help retrofit emission control equipment and replace natural gas tanks on school buses, as well as enhance school districts' existing natural gas fueling stations.  These funds will come from surcharge fees collected by APCDs through the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Once APCDs implement the surcharge, and collect it from the DMV, the resulting funds must be used for specific programs as set forth in Health and Safety Code sections 41081 and 44229.  Now, with the passage of Assembly Bill Nos. 462 and 470, APCDs will have three new options for spending a limited portion of the surcharge starting in January 1, 2012:

1) Use the surcharge funds to retrofit emission control equipment for existing school buses in addition to purchasing new school buses.

2) Use the surcharge funds for replacement of natural gas tanks on school buses.

3) Use the surcharge funds for repair or upkeep natural gas fueling dispensers operated by school districts.

Of course, there are various eligibility requirements depending on the intended use of these funds that any applicant school district will have to meet.  The funds will also be limited, and not immediately available. 

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