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EPA gives $388,519 Clean School Bus grant to Okemos Public School District

Release Date: 03/28/2006
Contact Information: Anne Rowan, (312) 353-9391


CHICAGO (Mar. 28, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $388,519 clean school bus grant to the Okemos Public School District in the greater Lansing, Mich., area. Okemos will administer this grant in 25 counties to equip up to 372 school buses with pollution-control devices to reduce emissions of soot and fine particles.

"This grant is part of our overall effort to get rid of that all-too-familiar black puff of smoke and reduce the harmful effects of diesel emissions," said Cheryl Newton, deputy director of Region 5's Air and Radiation Division. "Children are among the most susceptible to health problems caused by soot so it's important to do all we can to help them breathe easier."

EPA's Clean School Bus USA program aims to reduce both children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by diesel buses. EPA's goals are to encourage policies and practices that eliminate unnecessary idling, upgrade buses that will remain in use and replace older buses with new models that have cleaner-burning engines.

"Research has shown that the safest way for children to travel to and from school is on a school bus," said Dr. Lee Gerard, superintendent of the Okemos Public School District. "The Okemos district believes that buses should be the cleanest way to travel as well. The EPA Clean School Bus program helps us get even closer to that goal. We look forward to helping 290 other Michigan school districts make that happen in their communities."

This year, EPA has awarded a total of $7.5 million in Clean School Bus grants for 37 projects nationwide. These grants plus an additional $13 million in leveraged funds will significantly reduce emissions from diesel school buses. For more information, go to

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