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Release Date: 6/4/2003
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113

Contact: Donna Heron 215-814-5113
Today, EPA Administrator Christie Whitman visited Annandale Terrace Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va., to announce Virginia Electric Power Company’s (VEPCO) $1 million commitment to retrofit school buses. Whitman was joined by Rep. Tom Davis (R-11th); Pam Faggart, Environmental Director, VEPCO; Dave Paylor, Deputy Director, Virginia Department of Natural Resources; Sharon Bulova, Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors; and Christina Dickens, Principal, Annandale Terrace Elementary School.

“Every day in America, 24 million children travel more than four billion miles each year safely to and from school on 440,000 school buses – that’s a lot of driving and a lot of air pollution,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “By the year 2010, our goal is to ensure that every public school bus on the road is a clean school bus. By replacing or retrofitting older, dirty buses with newer, cleaner buses, we can accomplish exactly that. This means cleaner air in our communities and healthier students in our schools.”

In April 2003, Administrator Whitman announced the Clean School Bus USA program which is a new national partnership to minimize pollution from school buses. The program encourages policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling, installing effective emission control systems on newer buses and replacing the oldest buses in the fleet. The $1 million commitment from VEPCO to reduce school bus pollution in Fairfax County, which is part of a recent settlement action with EPA, will be an important addition to our national efforts to reduce school bus emissions.

Since most diesel engines are on the road for 20 or 30 years, this program will help equip school bus fleets with low emission technologies and practices sooner than would otherwise occur through bus fleet turnover. Older buses can now be equipped with safe, affordable and more effective technology that will reduce emissions to very low levels–some that will be close to the emissions standards required for new bus and truck engines starting in 2007.

In 2000, EPA launched the Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program to address the older buses that are currently on the road, and to date, more than 150,000 vehicles and engines have been retrofitted. Clean School Bus USA is an outgrowth of that EPA Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program. Currently, there are more than 20 school bus retrofit projects underway and more than 120 school districts have expressed an interest in participating in a retrofit project.

For more information about the Clean School Bus USA program, go to: . For more information about EPA’s Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program, go to: .