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Idaho awarded over $626,000 in EPA clean air grants to retrofit school buses and construction equipment

Release Date: 10/11/2012
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454,

(Seattle—Oct. 11, 2012) The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality was awarded grants totaling up to $626,000 to retrofit school bus engines and construction equipment with the goal of reducing harmful toxic pollutants from diesel emissions. The funds were awarded in two grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reductions Program.

The funds will be used to retrofit over 40 school buses and construction equipment with technology that will reduce diesel emissions. The projects will reduce the exposure of school-age children to diesel emissions from school buses. The program area includes areas of medium and high population density, as well as small towns in rural areas.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $30 million nationwide for clean diesel projects as part of its ongoing campaign to reduce harmful diesel exhaust that can lead to asthma attacks and premature deaths.

The Diesel Emission Reduction Program, also known as DERA, is designed to replace, retrofit or repower older diesel-powered engines like marine vessels, locomotives, trucks and buses.

Diesel engines are durable, fuel-efficient workhorses in the American economy. However, older diesel engines that predate newer, cleaner standards emit large amounts of air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). These pollutants are linked to health problems, including asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death. The clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of pollution.

In this year’s competition, winners were selected based on a proposal’s potential for maximizing health and environmental benefits by targeting areas that have significant air quality issues. Reduced air pollution from diesel engines in these areas can have a direct and significant impact on community health.

DERA was enacted in 2005 and since it was first funded in FY 2008, EPA has awarded over 500 grants nationwide. These projects have reduced hundreds of thousands of tons of air pollution and saved millions of gallons of fuel.

More on the grants and the National Clean Diesel Campaign: