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EPA awards grant to Cleveland Public Schools

Release Date: 02/23/2005
Contact Information:

CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 05-OPA016

CHICAGO (Feb. 23, 2005) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a $50,000 grant to Cleveland Public Schools to cut diesel emissions from school buses and protect children from breathing unhealthy air. The grant will be used to install pollution control devices on seven buses and to buy ultra-low sulfur fuel.

Cleveland Public Schools has already installed pollution control devices on 36 buses using a $250,000 grant from EPA’s Clean School Bus USA program.

The latest Cleveland grant is one of 18 awards for diesel retrofit projects totaling $1.6 million announced Wednesday by EPA Acting Administrator Steve Johnson at a press event in St. Louis. The grants will be used to retrofit a variety of diesel vehicles.

"These projects are vital to achieving clean air,” said Mr. Johnson. “We are well on our way to a future where nearly every type of diesel engine whether used on farms, railways, highways, ports or in construction will be part of a growing clean diesel family.”

Each project is designed to reduce the impacts of pollution on a population that is especially susceptible to the effects of diesel exhaust, including children, the elderly and the chronically ill.

Diesel emissions can cause serious health impacts and degrade air quality and the environment. Many areas of the country do not meet EPA outdoor air quality standards. In Ohio, EPA recently designated 33 counties as not meeting EPA’s 8-hour smog standard and 28 counties and parts of four other counties as not meeting EPA’s fine particle (soot) standard. Cuyahoga County does not meet either standard.

EPA is fostering voluntary partnerships among federal, state, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, fleet operators, and technology manufacturers to cut diesel emissions that are linked to asthma and respiratory illness, heart disease and premature death. As part of this program, EPA Region 5 has developed the Midwest Diesel Initiative to reduce long-term exposure to diesel exhaust for more than 28 million people in the region living in areas that do not comply with EPA’s smog and soot standards.