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EPA Grant Helps Brandywine School District Reduce Diesel Exhaust Pollution

Release Date: 04/03/2007
Contact Information: Donna Heron, (215) 814-5113

PHILADELPHIA (April 3, 2007) In the next year, students who ride buses from the Brandywine School District will be breathing cleaner air, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce pollution in diesel-powered school buses.

The Clean School Bus USA program awarded $570,000 to Brandywine School District in Wilmington, Del. Brandywine plans to retrofit 67 of its school buses. The new pollution-control equipment to be installed will reduce the exposure of school children to diesel exhaust by substantially reducing soot and other pollutants emitted from school buses.

“Breathing diesel exhaust can be harmful, especially for children with asthma,” said Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh. “EPA is working with school districts to upgrade their buses so students can breathe cleaner air and live healthier lives.”

The grant will be used by the school district to install particulate matter filters on approximately 67 diesel-powered buses. The equipment, in combination with ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, will reduce pollution emissions from the diesel buses by 60 to 90 percent.

“As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, which has jurisdiction over the Clean Air Act, I am pleased that our state - and the school district I live in - are working so hard to eliminate harmful emissions produced by school buses,” said U.S. Sen. Thomas R. Carper. “This $570,000 clean school bus grant is the largest in our region's history, and will help improve the air quality in the Brandywine School District."

"Our drivers safely transport our students more than a million miles a year throughout our district and the state," said Brandywine School District Superintendent, Dr. James R. Scanlon. "To have the opportunity to reduce emissions, pollution and exhaust fumes benefits our students, staff, bus drivers and our community. We appreciate the EPA's program and the grant they have provided us, which is one of the largest ever awarded."

In April 2003, EPA launched its Clean School Bus USA program to help reduce children’s exposure to diesel exhaust. The particles in diesel exhaust can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose health risks including aggravating asthma symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of diesel emissions and air pollution because their respiratory systems are still developing and they have a faster breathing rate.

For more information on the agency’s Clean School Bus USA program and other issues regarding diesel emissions, visit the agency’s website at