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EPA awards $118,000 grant to Hamilton County, Ohio, for clean school bus project

Release Date: 01/23/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA007

CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $118,000 grant to Hamilton County, Ohio, for a Southwest Ohio Clean Diesel Campaign project to cut diesel emissions from school buses in the Cincinnati metropolitan area.

EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit 60 school buses in six area school districts with equipment that will reduce diesel emissions, and to help replace three pre-1990 school buses in the Forest Hills and Northwest Local school districts with new, low-emission 2007 or 2008 model year buses.

School districts that have agreed to partner in the retrofit project are: Northwest Local, Southwest Local and Sycamore Community City Schools in Hamilton County; Hamilton City Schools, Butler County; Felicity-Franklin School District, Clermont County; and Springboro Community City Schools, Warren County.

"EPA is working with Hamilton County to upgrade and replace 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 http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/.

The grant was provided under the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative, a collaborative 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 impact lung function and structure.

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