2011-09-03 / News

Liberty Union receives $42.705 Clean Diesel School Bus grant

COLUMBUS – Liberty Union-Thurston Local Schools has received a $42,705 Ohio EPA grant to install idle reduction equipment on 13 buses.

The district was one of six statewide that received a grant after Ohio EPA received additional federal funding.

These grants are supported with a combination of funds from federal Clean Diesel grants awarded to Ohio EPA from U.S. EPA, and civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of Ohio’s environmental protection laws.

An additional $276,863 was awarded to help reduce children’s exposure to diesel exhaust. The equipment is expected to eliminate more than 130 pounds of small particle pollution, and 4,760.4 pounds of nitrogen oxide. These benefits will compound every year these buses are in service.

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 million has been awarded to retrofit 2,405 school buses statewide, removing nearly 118 tons of pollutants from the air.

Priority is given to applicants in areas that do not meet federal air quality standards for fine particulates, and districts that employ additional measures such as anti-idling programs to reduce emissions from school bus fleets.

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 lodge deeply in the lungs and 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.

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

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