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EPA Awards Clean School Bus Grants to Two Pennsylvania School Districts - North Allegheny School District and General McLane School District are grant recipients

Release Date: 10/22/2003
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $5 million in grants to reduce pollution from school buses.

The announcement, made today by Acting EPA Administrator Marianne Horinko, includes a $125,000 grant to North Allegheny School District, Allegheny County, Pa., and a $60,200 grant to General McLane School District, Erie County, Pa.

“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.”

The North Allegheny School District, which provided matching funds of $35,336, will demonstrate how a large, suburban Pittsburgh-area school district will retrofit its fleet of 84 buses with diesel oxidation catalysts and work to bring ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel into an area where it is not currently available.

The General McLane School District, which provided matching funds of $6,660, will demonstrate how a small, rural school district near Erie, Pa. will retrofit its fleet of 40 buses with diesel oxidation catalysts.

A total of 17 grants, totalling $5 million, were announced nationally. EPA’s Clean School Bus USA initiative aims to reduce children’s exposure to diesel exhaust across the United States by: (1) encouraging policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling; (2) installing effective emission control systems on newer buses; and (3) replacing the oldest buses in the fleet with new ones. Replacement options may include buses powered by clean diesel or compressed natural gas.

“EPA received 120 applications for projects. We picked 17 that offered opportunities to highlight innovative solutions we could share with school districts and pollution control agencies throughout the nation,” said Horinko. “Some involve retrofitting buses, while others entail a switch to ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. And there are other projects that provide funds to purchase new buses that are up to six times cleaner than the older models they replace.”

The 17 projects selected provide a total of $4.7 million in matching funds. One grantee is a national association which will provide sub-grants to its members nationwide. The National School Transportation Association received a $500,000 grant, in partnership with its members. The association will establish and administer a sub-grant program to support clean diesel replacement, retrofit, and use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. NSTA represents companies that contract with school districts to provide bus service. Nationally about one-third of school districts contract their bus service.

The remaining projects will work to reduce pollution from school buses in the following states: Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, and Washington. More information about Clean School Bus USA and the complete list of grantees is available online at