20 June 2007

A new program to address student exposure to diesel emissions in school buses has been launched in Pittsburgh, PA. The Healthy School Bus Fund now has the first $500,000 to retrofit school buses serving the Pittsburgh Public Schools with diesel particulate filters and closed crankcase systems. The funds will be available at no cost to the school district, or the school bus contractors who own the buses.

The Heinz Endowments has provided the initial seed money for the fund. The organizers are working to secure additional funds from government and corporate sources. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Allegheny County Health Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency are possible additional contributors.

The Healthy School Bus Fund is a joint project of the Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Heinz Endowments, Clean Water Action, Group Against Smog and Pollution, and the Clean Air Task Force. The fund will be administered through a rebate program—administered by MJ Bradley—which will simplify the application process, and allow the saved administrative costs to go toward retrofitting more buses and reducing more pollution.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools have the largest fleet of school buses in Allegheny County with a total of approximately 350 buses.

Source: Diesel Retrofit Rebate