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Ohio EPA Clean Diesel School Bus Grants Help Improve the Air for School Children
Ohio EPA grants to eight school districts will help reduce air pollution after they install pollution control equipment on 58 diesel school buses and anti-idling equipment on 53 buses as part of Ohio EPA’s Clean Diesel School Bus Grant program.
A total of $240,588.91 was awarded to reduce the exposure to pollutants in diesel exhaust. The equipment is expected to eliminate 2.7 tons of fine particle pollution, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons annually. The benefits will compound every year that these buses are in service.
Grant recipients include:
- Alexander Local Schools, Athens County, $13,376, to install emission control equipment on eight buses;
- Crestwood Local Schools, Portage County, $20,598, to install anti-idling equipment on six buses;
- Lima City Schools, Allen County, $11,662, to install emission control equipment on seven buses;
- Maple Heights City Schools, Cuyahoga County, $78,858.91, to install emission control equipment and anti-idling equipment on 17 buses;
- Norwalk City Schools, Huron County, $14,457 to install emission control equipment on nine buses;
- Sandusky City Schools, Erie County, $73,622.70 to install anti-idling equipment on 30 buses;
- Shawnee Local Schools, Allen County, $13,346 to install emission control equipment on eight buses; and
- Springfield Local Schools, Lucas County, $14,668 to install emission control equipment on nine buses.
Pollution from these buses will be reduced between 24 and 40 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. Nearly $8.4 million has been awarded to install pollution control equipment on 2,615 school buses statewide, and idle reduction equipment on 1,001 buses, removing more than 203 tons of pollutants from the air. The next grant application deadline is March 1, 2015.
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.
These school bus retrofit grants are supported with civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of Ohio’s environmental protection laws and by a federal grant awarded to Ohio EPA from U.S. EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act.
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.