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EPA awards $94,876 grant to American Lung Association for Chicago Clean School Bus project

Release Date: 02/15/2007
Contact Information: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 07-OPA25

CHICAGO (Feb. 15, 2007) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $94,876 grant to the American Lung Association for a project to cut diesel emissions from school buses in the Chicago metropolitan area.

EPA said the grant will be used to retrofit 43 buses in school districts in Green Oaks, Mundelein, Grayslake and Ingleside with equipment that will reduce diesel emissions.

"Breathing diesel exhaust is not good for anyone, especially children with asthma," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "EPA is working with the American Lung Association 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 the diesel vehicles has health implications for everyone, especially children.

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 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.

More information on Clean School Bus USA is at http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/.

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