By KRQE News 13

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico is getting $18 million from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal and one group thinks it has the perfect plan on how to spend it — school buses.

The organization Juntos and Conservation Voters Education Fund are proposing that the money be spent on replacing diesel school buses in New Mexico with electric ones.

They say about 166,000 New Mexico kids ride school buses and are exposed to dangerous diesel fumes each time they ride the bus. Sometimes that’s 45 minutes to an hour a day.

“We know that one in eleven children suffer from asthma. A lot of the moms and youths and children we work with actually suffer from asthma themselves and we saw this as an opportunity to lower rates of asthma and be healthier overall,” said Estafany Gonzalez, who works with the project Juntos: Our Air, Our Water.

Friday, the group delivered a letter and petition to the governor’s office, proposing the plan.