PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER: (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer
CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Kent
Ohio EPA Awards Clean Diesel School Bus Grants
Children in seven Ohio school districts will benefit from Ohio EPA grants awarded to install pollution control equipment on 37 diesel school buses and idle reduction technology on 82 school buses as part of Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus grant program.
A total of $270,648.70 was awarded to reduce the exposure to pollutants in diesel exhaust. The equipment is expected to reduce air pollution emissions by nearly three tons a year. These benefits will compound every year that the buses remain in service.
Grant recipients include:
- Blanchester Local School District, Clinton County, $14,823 to install emission control equipment on nine buses;
- Clear Fork Valley Local School District, Richland County, $70,938 to install emission control equipment on eight buses and anti-idling equipment on 21 buses;
- Crestwood Local School District, Portage County, $24,587 to install anti-idling equipment on seven buses;
- Dover City Schools, Tuscarawas County, $40,358 to install emission control equipment on five buses and anti-idling equipment on 14 buses;
- Minster Local Schools, Auglaize County, $6,664 to install emission control equipment on four buses;
- Northern Local Schools, Perry County, $70,228 to install emission control equipment on three buses and anti-idling equipment on 26 buses; and
- Zane Trace Local School District, Ross County, $43,080 to install emission control equipment on eight buses and anti-idling equipment on 14 buses.
Retrofitting school buses reduces fine particle pollution in diesel exhaust between 20 and 90 percent, depending on the type of control equipment installed.
Fine particles, known as particulates, have the potential to 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, use cleaner fuel to reduce air emissions and improve air quality. More than $8.1 million has been awarded to install pollution control equipment on 2,557 school buses and idle reduction equipment on 948 buses, removing more than 140 tons of air pollutants. The next grant application deadline is Sept. 1, 2014.
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.
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. Since then, 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.