Kansas City, Kan., August 19, 2008 – EPA Region 7 and the Blue Skyways Collaborative will work with the Ozarks Clean Air Alliance to reduce local children’s exposure to diesel exhaust through a special $130,301 grant for school bus refits. The Ozarks Clean Air Alliance will provide an $8,212 local contribution as part of the grant award.The program will provide funding to retrofit 75 Springfield Public School’s buses and up to 14 Logan-Rogersville School buses with EPA-verified diesel oxidation catalysts and crankcase filters to reduce pollution. The equipment is expected to reduce particulate matter, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds emissions from each bus.
The goals of Clean School Bus USA are to reduce children’s exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses. Springfield Public School’s buses log more than 1.6 million miles per year, transporting more than 6,000 students throughout the community. Logan-Rogersville adds thousands of additional miles to this total while serving a more rural community.
School buses are the safest way for children to get to school. However, pollution from older diesel vehicles has health implications for everyone, especially children. By working together, we can reduce pollution from public school buses – making sure that school buses are also a clean way for children to get to school.
As a provision of the Clean School Bus program, grant recipients must develop policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary public school bus idling. It also encourages upgrading entire fleets of buses with better emission-control technologies and/or fueling them with cleaner fuels. School districts are also encouraged, when possible, to replace the oldest buses with new, less-polluting buses.
The partnership between Blue Skyways Collaborative, Ozarks Clean Air Alliance and the school districts is designed to help reduce air pollution in the Springfield metro area by bringing together partners from business, education, transportation, and public-health organizations.