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EPA Grant Helps Cumberland County School System Reduce Children's Exposure to Diesel School Bus Emissions
Release Date: 11/20/2007
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Atlanta, Ga. – November 20, 2007) Today, as part of EPA’s Clean School Bus USA program, the Southeast Diesel Collaborative presented a grant for $110,000 to the Cumberland County School Board to reduce diesel school bus emissions. Ninety school buses will be retrofitted with emission control devices aimed at reducing particulate emissions in the atmosphere and the school bus interior. Cumberland County is undertaking the retrofits as part of a strategy of emissions reductions aimed at providing a safe healthy environment at schools and in the community. The County is the fourth largest district in North Carolina and currently transports over 25,000 students a day.
“We are pleased with North Carolina’s work to improve the environment by reducing the impact of diesel pollution on children’s health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jimmy Palmer. “EPA is committed to working with school systems to cut pollution from school buses and reduce health risks to children.”
The grant is part of the agency’s Clean School Bus USA program and will be used to fund the installation of diesel oxidation catalysts and crank case ventilation systems. The emission control devices will reduce particulate matter by at least 40 percent, unburned hydrocarbons by at least 70 percent and carbon monoxide by at least 40 percent. Not only will the retrofit devices improve air quality outside the buses, but will also reduce in-cabin emissions for sensitive students.
In addition to the grant, EPA will present the school system with copies of a special edition of the Magic School Bus series. The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up tells the story of the Magic School Bus adventure to become a clean retrofitted school bus and provides teachers with a creative way to present the complex subject of air pollution. Executive Director for Elementary Education Kathy Kennedy read the book to the school as part of the ceremony.
This year, EPA nationally awarded 43 grants totaling $7.5 million through the National Clean Diesel Campaign and the Clean School Bus USA program to school districts, air quality districts and other entities to help reduce school bus diesel emissions through a variety of retrofit and alternative fuel campaigns. The goal of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative is to improve air quality by encouraging the use of clean, renewable energy and by reducing diesel emissions from existing engines and equipment from the agriculture, heavy construction and on-road sectors. For more information, visit the Southeast Diesel Collaborative website at http://www.southeastdiesel.org.