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EPA awards $59,120 grant to Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker School District for clean school bus project

Release Date: 03/07/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254,

No. 08-OPA029

CHICAGO (March 7, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $59,120 grant to the Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker School District in Pigeon, Huron County, Mich., for a project to cut diesel emissions from the district's school buses.

EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit 12 school buses with emission-reducing diesel oxidation catalysts and replace the district's heaviest polluting bus with a new, low-emission bus.

In addition, the district will start using B20, a bio-diesel, and hold a workshop for other Huron County school districts on the benefits of operating with B20 and installing diesel oxidation catalysts on their buses.

"The project with the Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker School District is one of many EPA projects nationwide to upgrade buses so students can breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Breathing diesel exhaust is not good for anyone, especially children."

The grant is part of EPA's Clean School Bus USA program. The goal of the program is to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses. School buses are the safest way for children to get to school. However, pollution from the diesel vehicles has health implications for everyone.

Launched in April 2003, Clean School Bus USA brings together partners from business, education, transportation and public health organizations to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling, retrofit buses and replace the oldest buses with new, less polluting buses. More information on Clean School Bus USA is at

The grant money was provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, a collaboration of government, industry and non-profit organizations to reduce diesel emissions in the Midwest. More information on the initiative is at

Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ozone (smog), which is a lung irritant, and fine particles can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases. Fine particles can also affect lung function and structure.

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