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EPA awards $95,000 grant to Next Energy Center 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-OPA237

(CHICAGO - December 20, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $95,000 grant to Next Energy Center, 461 Burroughs, Detroit, Mich., to help retrofit school buses with diesel emission controls.

The grant will help NextEnergy buy diesel oxidation catalysts that will be used to retrofit 58 school buses for Michigan school districts in areas that do not meet the health-based outdoor air quality standard for ozone (smog).

The schools districts are: Hamilton Community Schools, Hamilton; Hartland Consolidated Schools and Howell Public Schools, Howell; and the Edwardsburg School District, Edwardsburg.

"Breathing diesel exhaust is not good for anyone, especially children with asthma," said Regional Administrator Mary A. Gade. "EPA is working with school districts 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 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 any new or used buses and run on regular diesel fuel or biodiesel.

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

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