Reducing Diesel Emissions from School Buses
School buses travel about four billion miles each year, providing the safest transportation to and from school for more than 25 million American children every day. However, diesel exhaust from these buses has a negative impact on human health, especially for children who have a faster breathing rate than adults and whose lungs are not yet fully developed.
While new buses must meet EPA’s tougher emission standards, many older school buses continue to emit harmful diesel exhaust. EPA's Clean School Bus is a national program designed to help communities reduce emissions from older diesel school buses. School districts, fleet owners and operators, bus drivers, parents and students all have a role in helping to reduce diesel emissions from school buses.
EPA offers funding, as appropriated annually by Congress, for projects that reduce emissions from existing diesel engines. EPA also provides information on strategies for reducing emissions from older school buses. One of the easiest ways to reduce school bus emissions and save money is to reduce idling. Another effective method is to replace the oldest school buses in the fleet.
School Bus Rebate Program
The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010 (PDF) (7 pp, 133 K, January 2011, About PDF) allows EPA to offer rebates in addition to grants to reduce harmful emissions from older, dirtier diesel vehicles. The rebate program has funded vehicle replacements or retrofits for over 600 vehicles to date. Typically, the rebate application period opens in the fall and projects are completed in less than one year.
Printed publications can be ordered from the National Service Center for Environmental Publications.
- The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up
- El Autobus Mágico Necesita Una Limpieza
- Tomorrow’s Buses for Today’s Children (PDF) (4 pp, 420 K, August 2010, EPA-420-F-10-019 About PDF)
- 25 Million Reasons Why It's Important to Reduce Idling (PDF) (6 pp, 410 K, April 2006, EPA-420-F-06-018, About PDF)
- Reducing School Bus Idling: Clean Air Poster (PDF) (22 inches high x 34 inches wide) (1 pg, 3 MB, April 2006, EPA-420-H-06-001, About PDF)
- Reducing School Bus Idling: The Key to a Healthier Ride Video (CD Video) (April 2004, EPA-420-C-04-001) - Click on US Postal graphic to access order form
- Carl Gets Some Rest (PDF) (12 pp, 783 K, April 2003, EPA-420-K-03-001, About PDF)
- Idle Free Schools Toolkit for a Healthy School Environment
- EPA's Protecting Children's Environmental Health
- EPA's Healthy Schools, Healthy Kids
- EPA's Healthy School Buildings
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