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EPA awards $50,000 to Fort Wayne, Ind., Community Schools for Clean School Bus project

Release Date: 12/20/2006
Contact Information: Anne Rowan, (312) 353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 06-OPA238

CHICAGO (December 20, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $50,000 grant to Fort Wayne, Ind., Community Schools to help retrofit school buses with diesel emission controls and to help buy biodiesel fuel.

The project includes two school districts: Fort Wayne Community Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools. The districts will install diesel oxidation catalysts on 30 buses, and together the districts will use biodiesel fuel in 372 buses.

"Breathing diesel exhaust is not good for anyone, especially children with asthma," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "EPA is working with Fort Wayne Community Schools to upgrade buses so students can breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives."

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, especially children.

Diesel exhaust contains nitrogen oxides, fine particles (soot) and air toxics. Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ozone (smog), and, when breathed, fine particles can lodge deep in the lungs.

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, to retrofit buses and to replace the oldest buses with new, less polluting buses.

Diesel oxidation catalysts use a chemical process to break down pollutants in the exhaust stream into less harmful components. The catalysts can be installed on new or most used buses and run on regular diesel fuel or biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a domestically produced renewable fuel that can be made from vegetable oil or animal fat. It is safe, biodegradable and reduces air pollutants such as soot, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and air toxics.

EPA's Clean School Bus Web site: http://epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/

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