EPA to award $1.36 million for Clean School Bus projects
The Environmental Protection Agency and its Blue Skyways Collaborative plan to award $1.36 million in grants this year to help cut air pollution from school buses.
City, state and tribal governments, as well as nonprofit organizations, can submit grant proposals through Sept. 21, 2007. Proposals may include projects to retrofit existing buses with emission-control devices, upgrade or replace engines, purchase cleaner fuels and replace older buses.
The Blue Skyways Collaborative was formed in 2006 to encourage voluntary air emissions reductions throughout North America’s heartland. Collaborative partners throughout the central United States work to make this goal possible through implementation of projects that use innovations in diesel equipment, alternative fuels, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. The collaborative’s clean school bus program focuses specifically on reducing children’s exposure to diesel exhaust from school buses.
More than 24 million children ride a bus to and from school every day, spending roughly three billion hours on school buses each year. Recent studies suggest that children’s school bus commutes potentially expose them to significantly higher concentrations of diesel exhaust. Pollution from diesel vehicles has health implications for everyone, but children are especially sensitive because their respiratory systems are still developing and they breathe at a faster rate. Diesel exhaust contains nitrogen oxides and fine particles, or soot. Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog, while fine particles can lodge deep in the lungs.
Last year, Blue Skyways clean school bus projects impacted approximately 2,875 buses, reducing pollutants and greenhouse gases by 240 tons per year and saving almost 85,000 gallons of fuel. Interested applicants can find more information on Blue Skyways and how to apply for clean school bus grants at www.grants.gov or www.blueskyways.org.
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