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U.S. EPA Administrator Whitman Announces $5 Million for Clean School Bus Program

Release Date: 06/13/2003
Contact Information:


Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-5647824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


(06/13/03) EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced today the availability of a $5 million grant program to make school buses cleaner for the 24 million children who travel on a bus to and from school every day. The grants are under EPA’s Clean School Bus USA initiative which is designed to limit children’s exposure to the harmful effects of diesel exhaust from school buses. Whitman made the announcement during a visit to the Green Acres Elementary School in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“We now have the opportunity to significantly reduce pollution from school buses and improve the health of those who ride them,” said Administrator Christie Whitman. “Upgrading our nation’s school bus fleet isn=t easy and it isn=t cheap. I’m pleased to announce that the $5 million appropriation is being made available to local school districts nationwide. Our goal is simple-- to make the bus ride to school cleaner for all our nation’s children."

Funded by Congress as part of this year’s budget, EPA is offering up to 20 grants to help school districts across the country upgrade their school bus fleets, either by replacing older buses with new, cleaner ones or by retrofitting existing buses with devices that reduce diesel air pollution.

Administrator Whitman announced the Clean School Bus USA program in April, as a national partnership to minimize pollution from school buses. The program also encourages policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling.

There are roughly 440,000 school buses in the country. While statistics show that school buses are the safest way to transport children, EPA wants to ensure that they are also the cleanest. Children are especially sensitive to air pollution and diesel exhaust because their respiratory systems are still developing and they have a faster breathing rate. Reducing pollution from school buses will help improve local air quality and reduce children’s exposure to diesel exhaust.

The application deadline for the EPA grants is Friday, August 1, 2003. For more information about the Clean School Bus USA program and how to apply for funding under the Clean School Bus USA grant program, visit: www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus.