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To Protect Children's Health, EPA Gives $148,000 to Corning-Painted Post Schools to Reduce School Bus Emissions
Release Date: 10/24/2003
|(#03131) New York, N.Y. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $148,694 to the Corning-Painted Post, New York School District to reduce harmful pollutants from 17 school buses that serve thousands of students in the district. The grant is one of 17 announced earlier in the week by EPA Acting Administrator Marianne Horinko as part of the Agency's $5 million 2003 Clean School Bus USA grant program. The Corning-Painted Post buses will be retrofitted with diesel particulate matter filters, which reduce harmful pollutants in tailpipe emissions by 60 to 90 percent. The school district will also purchase ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel for the buses, a cleaner alternative to regular diesel fuel.
"Our goal is that by 2010, every school bus in America will be a ‘clean bus,' emitting less pollution," said Horinko. "Cleaner buses and cleaner air mean fewer respiratory ailments, fewer school days lost to illness and a brighter, healthier future for all our kids."
Through Clean School Bus USA, EPA is working to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust by encouraging the elimination of unnecessary school bus idling, the installation of emission control systems on newer buses and the replacement of the oldest buses in schools' fleets with new ones.
Most school buses and trucks are powered by large diesel engines that lack the sophisticated pollution controls now required on automobiles, such has catalytic converters. While providing excellent fuel economy, the combustion of the regular diesel fuel used by a vast majority of school buses generates a significant amount of fine particles, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. These pollutants play a role in the formation of smog, and can be harmful to the developing respiratory tracts of children.
"We are proud to support the Corning-Painted Post school district's efforts to lead the way for school bus retrofits in New York," said Jane M. Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. "We know that school buses are the safest way to get kids to school. Now, thanks to Corning-Painted Post's extraordinary project, we can also ensure that school buses there will be cleaner and better for children's lungs and for the environment than ever before." To address emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles like school buses and trucks, EPA has adopted new regulations that require all new diesel vehicles built in 2004 and later to be equipped with pollution controls. By 2007, even more sophisticated pollution controls will be required, and new diesel engines will be 95 percent cleaner than those of most buses on the road today. EPA has encouraged owners of trucks and bus fleets to use cleaner diesel fuel and to retrofit their pre-2004 vehicles with pollution controls because these trucks and buses may remain on the road for decades. This is the first year that EPA has made funding available for retrofits and cleaner diesel fuel to school districts nationwide.
The Corning-Painted Post buses will be retrofit during the winter holiday recess in December 2003 and January 2004.