Clean Diesel School Bus Grants Awarded by Ohio EPA

Children in eight Ohio school districts will benefit from Ohio EPA grants awarded to install pollution control equipment on 75 buses and idle reduction technology on 68 buses as part of Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Grant program.

A total of $277,885.53 was awarded to reduce children’s exposure to pollutants in diesel exhaust. The equipment is expected to eliminate 262.2 pounds of fine particle pollution, and more than three tons annually in carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. These benefits will compound every year that these buses are in service.

School bus retrofit grants are supported with civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of Ohio’s environmental protection laws. Retrofitting school buses reduces fine particle pollution in diesel exhaust by between 20 and 90 percent, depending on the type of control equipment installed.

Fine particles, known as particulates, can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Children are most susceptible to this kind of air pollution because their lungs and respiratory systems are still developing. Priority is given to applicants in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards and to districts that employ additional measures to reduce emissions from school bus fleets.

Ohio EPA established the Clean Diesel School Bus Fund in 2006 to encourage school districts to install pollution controls on diesel school buses, use cleaner fuel to reduce air emissions, and improve air quality. More than $7.5 million has been awarded to install pollution control equipment on 2,491 school buses statewide, and idle reduction equipment on 771 buses. The next grant application deadline is March 1, 2013.

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