HEALTH DEPT. OFFERING GRANTS TO RETROFIT DIESEL SCHOOL BUSES

For Release:  Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Retrofitting Cuts Tailpipe Emissions and Protects Children From Air Pollution

            The Allegheny County Health Department is offering school districts funding to retrofit diesel school buses with devices that not only cut tailpipe emissions but also the air pollution that seeps inside a bus.  

“Retrofitting is the way to curb emissions from older diesel school buses built before 2007 which will remain on the road for many years to come,” said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon. 

“The improved air quality would be especially beneficial to children, who are more sensitive to air pollution and may be exposed to harmful levels while riding a bus for long periods of time.”

            Grants are available from the Allegheny County Clean Air Fund to cover 75% of retrofit costs, which can range from $1,000 to $10,000 per bus for various types of tailpipe retrofits and from $400 to $700 per bus for crankcase filters that reduce pollution inside a bus.

            The retrofit program is open to all public school districts in the County that operate their own fleet or use a school bus contractor.  Districts with a large number of lower-income students qualify for full funding and will not be required to pay 25% of their retrofit costs.

            Deer Lakes is the only school district to apply so far and has been approved for a $15,000 grant to retrofit 10 buses.  

A total of $500,000 is available for distribution to school districts that successfully apply for grants.  Applications and information about the program may be obtained by visiting the Health Department’s web site at www.achd.net or by calling Tom Lattner at 412-578-7986 or Jayme Graham at 412-578-8129.

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