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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Clean School Bus Program

Cartoon image of a Clean School Bus

Clean School Bus USA brings together partners from business, education, transportation, and public health organizations to work toward these goals:

  • Encouraging policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary public school bus idling.
  • Upgrading ("retrofitting") buses that will remain in the fleet with better emission control technologies and/or fueling them with cleaner fuels.
  • Replacing the oldest buses in the fleet with new, less polluting buses.
See EPA's Clean School Bus sector of the National Clean Diesel Campaign for the most current information.


On this page:

Arizona Efforts

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  • Anti-idling - Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area: Heavy-duty Engine Idling Restrictions restrict heavy-duty diesel engine idling to no more than five minutes in Maricopa County and surrounding counties in the Greater Phoenix non-attainment area.
  • Retrofit - School District Fleet Conversion Program, Dept of Environmental Quality (PDF) (6 pp, 202K) Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
    • Some resources come from the Clean Air Fund.
    • Requires at least 50% of the fleet to be converted by December 31, 2004, 60% by 2006, and 75% by 2007.
    • Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) and vehicles powered by engines meet fleet conversion requirements.

California Efforts

  • Anti-idling - California Air Resources Board (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
  • Limits school bus idling to only when necessary for safety or operational concerns.
  • Includes all heavy-duty vehicles while on or within 100 feet of school grounds.
  • Identifies an acceptable idling time period, activities and situations that should be exempt from an idling limit and the area in and around the school to be regulated.
  • Retrofit - California Air Resources Board (CARB) Lower Emission School Bus Program, Air Resources Board Exiting EPA (disclaimer)
    • Budget allocation of $50 million in 2001, $16 million in 2002 and $5 million in 2003.
    • Funds public school districts (and eligible joint power authorities) for replacement of pre-1987 diesel and limited gasoline-fueled school buses in use. Public schools receiving funding would have to replace any pre-1977 buses before replacing pre-1987 buses. New buses must meet CARB guidelines. Diesel buses funded under this program must operate on low-sulfur diesel fuel.
    • May fund alternative fuel infrastructure based upon a demonstrated need.
    • School districts throughout the state are implementing the program. Some notable examples include: San Diego Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Antelope Valley Schools Trans, Elk Grove Unified School District, Kern Union High School District, and Poway Unified School District.

  • Retrofit - South Coast Air Quality Management District's School Bus Fleet Rule (PDF) (4 pp, 116K) Exiting EPA (disclaimer). This rule, covering the South Coast Air Quality Management District, requires public and private school bus fleet operators to retrofit used or existing school buses with a CARB-approved control device(s).
  • Replacement - South Coast Air Quality Management District's School Bus Fleet Rule. This rule, covering the South Coast Air Quality Management District, requires public and private school bus fleet operators to acquire alternative-fueled school buses when adding or replacing school buses in their fleet.
  • Adopt-a-School Bus South - Coast Air Quality Management District's Adopt-a-School Bus Program: In January 2000, the Board proposed an "Adopt-a-School-Bus" program to help pay the cost of reducing cancer-causing diesel emissions from Southland school buses. Under the program, individuals or corporate sponsors can help pay the cost of retrofitting diesel buses to cleaner burning technologies, or even purchasing new natural gas-powered buses. The Adopt-a-School Bus Foundation was formed to administer the independent, nonprofit program, funded through tax deductible contributions.

Nevada Efforts

  • Biodiesel - Las Vegas: The Clark County School District recently switched to using biodiesel in its bus fleet of over one thousand vehicles. The school district serves the City of Las Vegas, Nevada and surrounding areas, covering a geographic area of almost 8,000 square miles and serving a projected 246,000 students in 266 schools.

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