Pittsburgh Healthy School Bus Fund
Recognizing that diesel school buses are the safest way to transport children to and from school, and that children are among the most susceptible to the effects of particulate pollution, the Diesel Partnership made this sector a priority. With $500,000 in seed money from the Heinz Endowments, The Allegheny County Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution and the Clean Air Task Force created an innovative funding program, with two primary goals:
- To retrofit school buses in Allegheny County’s largest school district, the Pittsburgh Public Schools, with the best available emissions control technology, at no cost to the school district or the school bus contractors.
- To create an innovative program template that can be easily replicated in other regions.
This program was launched in June of 2007. Clean Water Action and GASP continue to advocate and educate school bus contractors about this program, and the retrofit technology itself.
City of Pittsburgh Waste Hauler Pilot Retrofit Project
This program began with a US EPA grant opportunity in 2006, and has blossomed into one of our most successful projects. Working with the City of Pittsburgh, First Vehicle Services, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, The Allegheny County Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution secured $127,000 in grant funds to retrofit 10 City-owned waste haulers with the best available emissions control technology. Each truck will be retrofit with diesel particulate filters that will reduce particulate emissions by more than 90%. This project was announced and celebrated at a press conference on April 25, 2008 (pdf), which featured Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
The initial success of this project has prompted the City to once again apply for funds from the U.S. EPA to retrofit fifteen additional waste haulers with diesel particulate filters.
Allegheny County School Bus Retrofit Program
The Allegheny County Board of Health has authorized an allocation of $500,000 from the County’s Clean Air Fund to retrofit school buses in Allegheny County with emissions control technology. This grant program applies to any school district in the County, regardless of if they own their buses or contract with a private service provider.
Clean Water Action and GASP are working with school districts in the highly polluted Neville Island area, encouraging them to participate in this program.