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Back to School with Clean Air - By Donald S. Welsh, U.S. EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator
Release Date: 8/12/2004
Contact Information: Liz Ferry, (215) 814-2909
Liz Ferry, (215) 814-2909
School buses in your community and across the country travel a lot of miles. And that can mean a lot of air pollution.
Fortunately, we have the opportunity to significantly reduce pollution from buses and better protect the health of all those who ride them. The program, called Clean School Bus USA, further protects the quality of the air by using new technology to make exhaust from school buses much cleaner and also by eliminating unnecessary idling.
Since school buses are the safest way to transport kids to school, we also want to make them the healthiest way to get to school. By replacing or retrofitting older, dirty buses with new, cleaner buses, we can accomplish exactly that. This means cleaner air in our communities and healthier students in our schools.
Of course, replacing older buses with clean buses and clean technology isn't easy and it isn't cheap. That’s why EPA, in partnership with numerous organizations from the environmental, health, and business communities, along with many state and local officials, launched our Clean School Bus USA initiative.
An important part of the program is to reduce the amount of time buses are idling. There’s no reason to let buses sit in the parking lot running when they’re not in use. That just pollutes the air and wastes fuel. That’s why EPA has set the goal of reducing school bus idling by an average of 30 minutes per bus per day by next year. That will not only reduce a lot of pollution, it will save 17 million gallons of diesel fuel a year.
Working together, using all the tools available to us, can really make a difference for the environment, and more importantly, for the students who ride these buses. For more information about the Clean School Bus USA program, check out our web site at www.epa.gov.