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Pinellas County School Board Receives $150,000 for Clean School Buses

Release Date: 04/8/2006
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,

(ATLANTA – April 8, 2006) As part of EPA’s Clean School Bus USA program, EPA will present a grant for $150,000 to the School Board of Pinellas County, Florida to retrofit 76 buses with EPA-verified diesel oxidation catalysts and crankcase filtration systems. Although Pinellas County attains the current ozone and fine particulate matter ambient air quality standards, the county is undertaking the retrofits as part of a strategy of emissions reductions aimed to avoid future non-attainment designation. The grant to the School Board is one of four being awarded in the Southeast this year, totaling $ 1.2 million.

“We are pleased with Pinellas County’s work to improve the environment by reducing the impact of diesel pollution on children’s health,” said EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg. “EPA is committed to working with school systems to cut pollution from school buses and reduce the health risks to children.”

"The grant works hand in hand with our focus of being good stewards of the environment," said Tony Dzielksi, Pinellas County School Board Director of Transportation. "Through this grant, we will retrofit some of our buses to reduce emissions, which benefit all the citizens of Pinellas County."

The grant is part of agency’s Clean School Bus USA program and will be used to fund exhaust filters to reduce diesel emissions. The diesel oxidation catalysts that will be installed on the buses will reduce emissions of fine particulates by at least 30 percent, hydrocarbons by at least 50 percent and carbon monoxide emissions by at least 30 percent. Not only will the retrofit devices improve air quality outside the buses, but will also reduce in-cabin emissions for sensitive students. These emission reductions will improve air quality for the 118,000 students that attend school in Pinellas County.

This year, EPA nationally awarded 37 grants totaling $7.5 million as part of the Clean School Bus USA program. The initiative encourages policies and practices to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling, install effective emission control systems on newer buses and replace the oldest buses with cleaner diesel or compressed natural gas-powered buses. The grant recipients are contributing an additional $13 million in matching funds and in-kind services.
Contact: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421,