4/6/15
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce

Ohio EPA Awards Clean Diesel School Bus Grants to School Districts in Marion, Seneca Counties

New Ohio EPA grants to school districts in Marion and Seneca counties will help reduce air pollution emissions from 58 school buses by more than half a ton every year. A total of $58,478.80 was awarded to reduce children’s exposure to the harmful pollutants in diesel exhaust.

The pollution control equipment selected by these districts is expected to eliminate 40 pounds of fine particle (soot) pollution, 302 pounds of carbon monoxide, 794 pounds of nitrogen oxides and 64 pounds of hydrocarbons. These benefits will compound every year that these buses are in service. Reducing engine idling time can also result in significant savings in fuel costs.

Grant recipients are:

  • River Valley Local Schools, Marion County, $51,808.80 to install emission control equipment on three buses and idle reduction equipment on 17 buses.
  • Seneca East Local Schools, Seneca County, $6,670 to install emission control equipment on four buses.

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.

These school bus retrofit grants are supported with civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of Ohio’s environmental protection laws and with a federal grant awarded to Ohio EPA from U.S. EPA under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act.

Ohio EPA established the Clean Diesel School Bus Fund in 2006 to encourage school districts to install pollution controls on diesel school buses, reduce engine idling and use cleaner fuel to reduce air emissions and improve air quality. More than $8.3 million has been awarded to install pollution control equipment on 2,622 school buses statewide and idle reduction equipment on 1,018 buses, removing nearly 204 tons of pollutants from the air. The next grant application deadline is Oct. 15, 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.

Applications can be found online and more information is available from the Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873.

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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.


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