News Release 083

DNR recognizes OCSS and Willard School District for Recovery Act project that will help reduce diesel emissions, improve air quality

Volume 38-083 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Renee Bungart

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, FEB. 25, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ director Mark N. Templeton today recognized the Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions, or OCSS, at Drury University and the Willard School District for a project that will help reduce diesel emissions and improve air quality in Southwest Missouri.

The Department of Natural Resources received approximately $2.7 million in grant funds for the Diesel Emission Reduction Act, or DERA, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for two projects in Missouri. The two grants include the National Competitive DERA Grant and the State Allocated DERA Grant. The department then issued subgrants to Ozark Center for Sustainable Solutions, or OCSS, for both of these grants in order retrofit and replace diesel engines in the Southwest Missouri area.

The Willard School District was the first school in Southwest Missouri to receive two new school buses under the OCSS grant initiatives. “The two new 2009 buses emit approximately 76 to 90 percent fewer pollutants than the 1996 predecessors they replaced,” said Templeton. “The new buses are expected to help reduce diesel emissions in the Willard area, which will improve air quality and protect public health.”

Willard School District received 25 percent of the cost for the buses for a total of $37,208, which was funded under the National Competitive DERA Grant. Following EPA’s federal requirements, Willard disabled the two older buses that were replaced. Willard School district took the buses to a scrap yard to be recycled for scrap metal purposes. The scrap yard paid the district an additional $2,457, which was used to even further offset the costs that Willard committed to purchase these new buses.

Controlling emissions from school buses is a high priority as children are more susceptible to the health effects of diesel emissions because their respiratory systems are still developing.

For more information on the federal Recovery Act, visit For more information on Missouri’s transform initiatives, visit For more information on the department’s initiatives, contact the department’s Air Pollution Control Program, P.O. Box 176, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0176 or call 800-361-4827 or 573-751-4817 or visit the department’s website at