Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Gives $500,000 to Reduce Pollution from Hundreds of New York State School Buses; From Niagara County to Long Island, 50,000 Children to Benefit

Release Date: 06/28/2004
Contact Information:
(#04102) New York, N.Y. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it has awarded a $500,000 grant to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install pollution reducing equipment on more than 300 school buses statewide. The grant, part of EPA's Clean School Bus USA program, will help curb tailpipe emissions in 11 school districts serving nearly 50,000 children.

"Diesel engines like those in most school buses release contaminants that contribute to air pollution and can cause respiratory problems," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "School buses are the way most kids get to school. With this grant to NYSERDA, EPA is helping to make buses across New York State better for children's lungs, and for the environment, than ever before."

Through the installation of diesel oxidation catalysts - which are similar to the catalytic converters now found in all gasoline-powered cars tailpipe emissions from the buses will be reduced: fine particles by at least 20 percent; hydrocarbons by at least 50 percent and carbon monoxide by at least 30 percent. EPA estimates that every year, a total of six tons of carbon monoxide, two tons of hydrocarbons and 1.4 tons of particles will be removed from New York State's air as a result of the grant.

The school districts that will receive the NYSERDA retrofits are: Exit EPA disclaimer

Most school buses and trucks are powered by large diesel engines that lack the sophisticated pollution controls now required on automobiles. While providing excellent fuel economy, the regular diesel fuel used by a vast majority of school buses generates a significant amount of fine particles, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, which are released into the environment. Fine particles can lodge deep into the lungs, can cause asthma attacks and over time, permanent damage to the lungs. Hydrocarbons are a component of ground-level ozone, or smog, the choking brown haze that settles over many parts of the state on the hottest summer days.

To address emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles like school buses and trucks, EPA has adopted new regulations that require all new diesel vehicles built in 2004 and later to be equipped with pollution controls. By 2007, even more sophisticated pollution controls will be required, and diesel engines will be 95% cleaner than those of most buses on the road today. EPA is encouraging owners of trucks and bus fleets to use cleaner diesel fuel and to retrofit their pre-2004 vehicles with pollution controls because these trucks and buses may remain on the road for a decade or more.

EPA's Clean School Bus USA program works to limit exposure to diesel fumes by the 24 million children who ride school buses, and reduce the amount of air pollution these buses create. By developing partnerships with schools, state and local governments, trade groups and private companies, a significant number of school bus retrofit projects have already taken place nationwide.

EPA's $500,000 grant to NYSERDA comes on the heels of its 2003 Clean School Bus agreement with the New York Association of Pupil Transportation (NYAPT). Exit EPA disclaimerThe organization, whose 650 members transport 2.3 million New York children to and from school, became the nation's first statewide consortium to agree to make major environmental improvements to thousands of school buses. The collaboration between EPA, NYSERDA, NYAPT and countless school districts promises rapid change across the state.

The grant to NYSERDA is one of 20 awarded by EPA for similar projects around the country. The grants total $5 million nationwide.