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EPA awards $37,271 grant to Manitowoc Public School District for clean school bus project

Release Date: 05/08/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA083

CHICAGO (May 8, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $37,271 grant to the Manitowoc Public School District in Manitowoc, Wis., for a project to cut diesel emissions from the district's school buses.

EPA said the grant will be used to install idling reduction equipment on 14 school buses. The buses already have diesel emission reduction equipment and burn low-sulfur diesel fuel. In addition, the buses will be getting crankcase filtration systems funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

"The Manitowoc Public School District project is one of many EPA projects nationwide to upgrade buses so students can breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives," said Acting Regional Administrator Bharat Mathur. "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 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 http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.

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 http://www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel.

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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