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Cleaner School Buses Contribute to Region’s New Clean Air Efforts

Release Date: 02/21/2006
Contact Information: Reg 6 External Affairs, Beth Sweeney, 214-665-2200, sweeney.elizabeth@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas – Feb. 21, 2006) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide grants to communities in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma to help local school children breathe cleaner air and improve air quality in the region.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced this week that the Agency is awarding 37 grants nationwide totaling $7.5 million as part of the Clean School Bus USA program, which reduces children’s exposure to diesel exhaust. This initiative encourages the elimination of unnecessary school bus idling, the installation of effective emission control systems on newer buses and the replacement of the oldest buses with cleaner diesel or compressed natural gas-powered buses.

Putting cleaner school buses on the road is an important component of a new public/private partnership launched in Kansas City last week to turn America’s highways into Blue Skyways. From Laredo, Texas, to Duluth, Minnesota, Blue Skyways Collaborative partners in nine central states, Canada and Mexico will work together on voluntary efforts to make the air cleaner for the 50 million people living in the region. The Clean School Bus grants will help protect one of the most sensitive populations in this region—our children.

“Kids in these communities can breathe easier thanks to Clean School Bus USA, and parents in all of the communities participating in the Blue Skyways Collaborative can breathe easier knowing that everyone is stepping up to the plate to improve the air,” said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene.

The St. Charles Parish Public Schools in St. Charles, Louisiana, will receive $28,800 to purchase B20 fuel (a blend of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel) for 98 of their 149 school buses. The Pasadena Independent School District in the Houston, Texas, area has been awarded $219,625 to replace eight older school buses with new buses that meet 2007 emissions standards. The Pearland Independent School District near Houston, Texas, will utilize a grant of $162,279 to retrofit 120 diesel buses with diesel oxidation catalysts (DOCs) and purchase ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. Crutcho Public Schools in Crutcho, Oklahoma, has been awarded $69,730 to replace two 1980s-era buses, retrofit another bus, and switch the fleet’s five buses to B20.

For more information about the grantees, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/funding.htm
For more information about Clean School Bus USA, visit: http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus


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