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District Gets EPA Grant to Retrofit 22 DC School Buses to Lower Emissions

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the Division of Transportation of the DC Public Schools (DOT), operated under the authority of the federal court-appointed Transportation Administrator, have been awarded $224,540 to help reduce school bus emissions in the District. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded DDOE the grant to retrofit 22 DCPS buses that provide transportation services to 4,000 special needs students. Approximately 630 bus routes are traveled each day, twice a day from September through June. DDOE and the DOT plan to use the grant to mount Particulate Matter (PM) filters on the buses to reduce the amount of pollutants, primarily PM, VOC's and Carbon Monoxide (CO), which are released into the atmosphere. The official name for the new equipment filtering process is Catalyzed Continuously Regenerating Technology (CCRT).

DCPS will outfit 2004 model year buses because they are the largest vehicles in the fleet and therefore will have the biggest impact. It is projected that the CCRT will eliminate 85 to 90 percent of the PM, which is especially important to the children who ride the buses and are in close proximity to the exhaust gases emitted.

"We couldn't be more pleased about the opportunity to work with DOT to reduce school bus emissions," said DDOE Director George Hawkins "This partnership is positive for so many reasons, especially reducing the air pollution levels that affect our children."

Transportation Administrator, David Gilmore said, "We are pleased to take part in an innovative activity to reduce pollution throughout our route system."

DDOE Air Quality and Energy Offices plan to continue working with the DOT as it develops plans to procure more school buses that operate cleaner fuels.

For more information, media may contact Sharon Cooke, Office of Communications, DDOE at (202) 535-2511 or Mafara Hobson at DCPS at (202) 535-1669.