Local school districts get grants for bus emission reduction - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local school districts get grants for bus emission reduction

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Seven school districts, including four from Eastern Iowa, have been selected to receive grants from Iowa's Bus Emissions Education Program, BEEP, for the reduction of diesel emissions.

The districts are Carlisle, Linn-Mar, George-Little Rock, Wayne, Belle Plaine, Waverly-Shell Rock and Camanche Community School Districts.

Each school will get $38,000 to replace a school bus model 1993 or older with a new school bus that meets 2010 EPA certification.

Each district will also be reimbursed 100 percent for the purchase and installation of a combination of up to 20 diesel oxidation catalysts and/or closed crankcase ventilation systems on bus models 2003 and older.

Schools were selected based on six factors: 1) Programs and curriculum the school district has for air quality, mobile source pollution and its effect on the earth's life cycle and atmosphere; 2) school district is located in area targeted for emissions reduction; 3) strength of school district's idling reduction policy; 4) age and use of the bus to be replaced; 5) efforts school district makes to reduce air pollution, and 6) completeness and accuracy of fulfilling application requirements.

The Iowa DNR says new buses emit 95 percent less pollution than the old bus engines the school districts are required to disable.  Diesel oxidation catalysts reduce the amount of pollution emitted out of bus exhaust systems.  Crankcase ventilation systems stop diesel emissions from entering the bus cabin.

They say diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases, soot and over 40 known cancer-causing substances, including benzene, 1,3-butadiene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein.  The DNR adds that children are especially vulnerable to the effects of diesel pollution because their lungs are still developing and they breathe 1.5 times the air volume for their size compared to adults.

More information about BEEP, visit www.iowadnr.gov/air/citizen/vehicle/BEEP.html.

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