Ansonia to receive six electric school buses from VW settlement

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    ‘ANSONIA — Students are soon going to have listen more closely if they don’t want to miss the morning bus.

    On Jan. 28, U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, with state and city officials announced that Ansonia Public Schools will receive six electric school buses from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. DeLauro made the announcement at Mead Elementary School.

    The funds come from Volkswagen’s 2019 legal settlement in the wake of its emissions scandal. Ansonia is one of several municipalities in the state that will receive 43 electric school buses from the $12 million settlement fund.

    Superintendent Joseph DiBacco said the electric buses will greatly benefit Ansonia children who no longer have to breathe in harmful exhaust while school buses are idling.

    “When these buses are lining up and queuing up, then there’s no fumes. There’s nothing,” DiBacco said.

    DiBacco said Ansonia will be the first municipality in the Valley to get the school buses. The electric buses will join the propane-powered buses the city recently obtained that run cleaner than regular diesel buses.

    According to the state’s health department, vehicle emissions are a significant factor in hospitalizations stemming from asthma. The electric buses will have a benefit for all city residents due to the lowering of vehicle emissions, DiBacco said.

    “Overall, it’s a humongous win for the community and for Ansonia,” he said.

    DiBacco said he expected the buses to arrive in about six months, meaning they could be on the roads when schools reopen in September.

    The push for more electric school buses has gained momentum, according to Daphne Dixon, executive director of Live Green CT, an environmental advocacy organization that works with municipalities to lower pollution levels. The group offers school districts tool kits and training to prepare them for adopting electric buses.

    The settlement money finally made widespread use of electric buses, which are initially costlier to buy than conventional buses, financially feasible, Dixon said.

    “This was the first time that there was so much funding provided by Connecticut DEEP to offer so many different school districts opportunity to move towards electrification,” Dixon said.

    The money comes from a legal settlement Volkswagen agreed to in the aftermath of an emissions scandal. The company admitted it worked to foil emissions tests by installing devices in 590,000 diesel-powered vehicles. Nearly 12,000 of those cars were sold in Connecticut.

    The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) previously stated in December that the electric buses will greatly benefit municipalities in the state currently suffering from high pollution levels such as New Haven.

    DeLauro said the buses would have a statewide impact.

    “How we support the efficiency, speed, and environmental impact of our children’s commutes matter. But, far too many of our school buses emit pollutants that can be harmful, especially for our children, which increases the risk of asthma and other respiratory illness,” DeLauro said. “That is why I am pleased that funds from the legal settlement with Volkswagen Corporation will be used to help replace 43 diesel school buses with brand new electric school buses across Connecticut.”

    DiBacco said that the result will be plain to see.

    “Our kids in our community will be breathing better,” DiBacco said.’


    This is great news! EV buses are going to cut down on exhaust and fumes, children will be healthier. More of this, please!

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