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Medford Highlights Progress in Dramatically Reducing Pollution from School Buses

Release Date: 01/11/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865,

For Immediate Release: January 11, 2005; Release # sr050102

BOSTON - EPA's New England Deputy Administrator Ira Leighton and Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn visited a Medford school today to announce that the city has made important progress in retrofitting the school buses that serve Medford and 14 surrounding communities. Working in partnership with Vocell Bus company, the city has retrofitted 19 buses with advanced pollution controls and will retrofit an additional 50 buses by the end of the year. In 2003, Medford received a $483,000 grant from the EPA so that pollution control equipment and low-polluting diesel fuel can be used on more than 70 school buses.

"The City of Medford has done an excellent job implementing this important project that will help enormously in curbing air pollution from school buses," said Leighton, during a visit this afternoon to the middle school. "In addition to reducing children's exposure to diesel pollution, this project will improve overall air quality in a city where smog exceedances and elevated asthma rates are a public health concern."

"The City of Medford has been working aggressively to reduce local air pollutants for several years," said Mayor McGlynn. "I am pleased to highlight the progress we have made in implementing this important project. Cleaner school buses will bring important benefits to the children riding the buses and the surrounding community. In addition, we have carefully documented this project so that we can share the results with other communities."

The city's school buses are owned and operated by the Vocell Bus Company, which provides school transportation to Medford and 14 neighboring communities, including Belmont, Chelsea, Malden, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn. All 15 of the communities will benefit from the cleaner buses.
Medford is one of four projects selected in New England for Clean School Bus USA funding over the past two years. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection received $567,000 to help over 25 school districts install pollution-control equipment on more than 300 school buses. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services received $100,000 to install pollution control equipment 45 buses Manchester and Nashua, New Hampshire. Warwick Public Schools in Warwick, Rhode Island received $350,000 to fuel the city's 70 buses with cleaner fuel and retrofit them with pollution controls.

School buses provide a vital service, safely transporting 1.7 million New England children to and from school every day. However, much can be done to reduce emissions from these buses and thus help children breathe easier.

In April 2003, EPA launched the Clean School Bus USA program to help reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of diesel emissions, which can cause respiratory disease and exacerbate long term conditions such as asthma. Asthma is the most common long-term childhood disease, affecting 6.3 million children. The goals of Clean School Bus USA are to eliminate unnecessary idling, replace the oldest school buses with new ones and equip existing buses with advanced emission control technologies.
Cleaner school buses help not only the children who ride them but also their bus drivers, teachers, families, and communities who benefit from cleaner air and reduced exposure to diesel exhaust.

For more information about EPA's Clean School Bus USA Program, visit:

Related Information:
Diesel Exhaust
Clean School Bus USA
Air Enforcement