Since April 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus USA program has been working with schools, transportation officials and other interested groups to "eliminate unnecessary school bus idling, to retrofit buses and to replace the oldest buses with new, less polluting buses." Yesterday, the EPA's Region 5 office announced $145,000 in grant money that will pay for cleaner buses in Michigan and Indiana.

The Next Energy Center in Detroit will get $95,000 to put diesel emission controls on 58 buses. These buses will be selected for use in Michigan school districts with terrible air quality (technically, "areas that do not meet the health-based outdoor air quality standard for ozone {smog})." Does your kid go to school in one of these districts: Hamilton Community Schools, Hamilton; Hartland Consolidated Schools and Howell Public Schools, Howell; and the Edwardsburg School District, or Edwardsburg? Then she might be getting a new cleaner bus.

The other $50,000 will go to the Fort Wayne, Ind., Community Schools to retrofit buses like in Detroit, but also to buy biodiesel to put in the buses. This time, only two school districts in Indiana are involved: Fort Wayne Community Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools. 30 buses will get diesel oxidation catalysts and 372 buses will get biodiesel.

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[Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5]

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