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EPA awards $86,353 grant to Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District for clean school bus project

Release Date: 03/07/2008
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA030


CHICAGO (March 7, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded an $86,353 grant to the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District in Ontario, Wis., for a project to cut diesel emissions from the district's school buses.

EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit nine school buses with emission-reducing diesel oxidation catalysts and crankcase filtration systems. In addition, the district will use idle reduction technologies on 10 buses, replace one bus with a new, low-emission bus, and educate its staff and the public on the importance of clean-air practices.

"The project with the Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton School District is one of many EPA projects nationwide to upgrade 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 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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