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MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
Ohio EPA Awards Clean Diesel School Bus Grant
Children in the Zanesville city school district will have cleaner air to breathe due to an Ohio EPA grant to install pollution control equipment on school buses. As part of Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Grant program, the district received $62,298 to install diesel oxidation catalysts and anti-idling equipment on 21 buses, and emission reduction equipment on 10 buses.
The equipment is expected to eliminate 46.2 pounds of fine particle pollution, 326 pounds of carbon monoxide, nearly 980 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 73.8 pounds of hydrocarbons annually. These benefits will compound every year that these buses are in service.
Retrofitting school buses reduces fine particle pollution in diesel exhaust by between 20 and 90 percent, depending on the type of control equipment installed.
Fine particles, known as particulates, can aggravate respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Children are most susceptible to this kind of air pollution because their lungs and respiratory systems are still developing.
Ohio EPA established the Clean Diesel School Bus Fund in 2006 to encourage school districts to install pollution controls on diesel school buses, and use cleaner fuel to reduce air emissions and improve air quality. More than $7.7 million has been awarded to install pollution control equipment on 2,521 school buses statewide, and idle reduction equipment on 866 buses, removing more than 100 tons of pollutants from the air. The next grant application deadline is March 1, 2014.
Priority is given to applicants in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for fine particulates, and to districts that employ additional measures such as anti-idling programs to reduce emissions from school bus fleets.
Applications can be found online and more information is available from the Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.