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Ohio EPA Awards Clean Diesel School Bus Grants

Children in eight Ohio school districts will benefit from Ohio EPA grants awarded to install pollution control equipment on 75 buses and idle reduction technology on 68 buses as part of Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Grant program.

A total of $277,885.53 was awarded to reduce children’s exposure to pollutants in diesel exhaust. The equipment is expected to eliminate 262.2 pounds of fine particle pollution, and more than three tons annually in carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons. These benefits will compound every year that these buses are in service.

School bus retrofit grants are supported with civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of Ohio’s environmental protection laws.

Grant recipients include:

  • Anna Local Schools, Shelby County, $42,539 to install diesel oxidation catalysts and anti-idling equipment on seven buses, and anti-idling equipment on seven additional buses;
  • Benton Carroll Salem School District, Ottawa County, $9,396 to install diesel oxidation catalysts on six buses;
  • East Holmes Local Schools, Holmes County, $55,669 to install diesel oxidation catalysts and anti-idling equipment on 11 buses and anti-idling equipment on an additional six buses;
  • Greenville City Schools, Darke County, $63,653 to install diesel oxidation catalysts and anti-idling equipment on seven buses, diesel oxidation catalysts on six buses and anti-idling equipment on an additional 12 buses;
  • Marion City School District, Marion County, $31,305 to install diesel oxidation catalysts on 17 buses and anti-idling equipment on two buses;
  • Rossford Exempted Village Schools, Wood County, $10,962 to install diesel oxidation catalysts on seven buses;
  • Sylvania City Schools, Lucas County, $54,648 to install diesel oxidation catalysts and anti-idling equipment on eight buses and anti-idling equipment on an additional eight buses; and
  • Waverly City Schools, Pike County, $9,714 to install diesel oxidation catalysts on six buses.

Retrofitting school buses reduces fine particle pollution in diesel exhaust by between 20 and 90 percent, depending on the type of control equipment installed.

Fine particles, known as particulates, can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Children are most susceptible to this kind of air pollution because their lungs and respiratory systems are still developing.

Ohio EPA established the Clean Diesel School Bus Fund in 2006 to encourage school districts to install pollution controls on diesel school buses, and use cleaner fuel to reduce air emissions and improve air quality. More than $7.5 million has been awarded to install pollution control equipment on 2,491 school buses statewide, and idle reduction equipment on 771 buses, removing more than 151 tons of pollutants from the air. The next grant application deadline is March 1, 2013.

Priority is given to applicants in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for fine particulates, and to districts that employ additional measures such as anti-idling programs to reduce emissions from school bus fleets.

Applications can be found online and more information is available from the Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873.

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. In the past 40 years, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.


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