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EPA awards $67,923 grant to American Lung Association of Illinois for clean school bus project in Madison County

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 08-OPA009


CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2008) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $67,923 grant to the American Lung Association of Illinois for a project to cut diesel emissions from school buses in Madison County in the St. Louis Metro-East area.

EPA said the grant will be used to install idling reduction equipment to cut diesel emissions from 15 buses in the Roxana School District's fleet. An added benefit is savings in fuel costs.

"EPA is working with the American Lung Association 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 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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