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EPA awards $50,000 to Tuscola Intermediate School District for clean school bus project

Release Date: 12/22/2006
Contact Information: CONTACT: Anne Rowan, (312) 353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 06-OPA237

CHICAGO (December 21,200) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded a $50,000 grant to the Tuscola Intermediate School District, Caro, Mich., to help retrofit school buses with diesel emission controls and to help buy biodiesel fuel for Tuscola and three other nearby school districts.

The other school districts are: Cass City Public Schools, Cass City; Vassar Public Schools, Vassar; and Millington Community Schools, Millington. Seventy-five buses will be affected by the grant. Diesel oxidation catalysts will be installed on 24 of the buses and biodiesel fuel will be used in all of them.

"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 new or most 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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