EPA giving $700,000 for clean school buses in the Midwest

Looks like enough time has passed for the EPA to announce more grant money made available for school districts in the Midwest of the U.S. to clean up their school buses. Last July, a school bus idling project got $15,000. Then, in December, various districts got $145,000. Now, the EPA's Region 5 Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative has announced it will likely award about $700,000 worth of grants in 2007 for school bus diesel-emission reduction projects in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Schools have until June 22 to submit proposals, and awards will be announced around Nov. 1.

I've put the entire press release after the jump for school officials who are interested in the details of how to submit proposals.

[Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency]

EPA to Award $700,000 in Clean School Bus Grants to Midwest School Districts

CHICAGO, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5's Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative today announced it expects to award some $700,000 this year in grants for school bus diesel-emission reduction projects in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Project proposals will be accepted until June 22 and final awards are expected to be made around Nov. 1.

Proposals may include, but are not limited to, diesel exhaust retrofits, vehicle replacement, engine replacement, idle reduction technologies or strategies, and use of cleaner burning fuels such as biodiesel.

Grant funds come from EPA's Clean School Bus USA program. Program goals are to reduce school bus idling, retrofit existing buses with emission-control devices, use cleaner fuels and replace the oldest buses with new, cleaner buses.

Since 2003 when the program started, EPA has provided almost $2.8 million for 23 school bus emission-reduction projects in EPA Region 5. In addition, more than $800,000 in matching funds was contributed by applicants for education and installation of emission-reduction technologies.

The Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative is a collaboration of federal, state and local agencies, along with communities, non-profit organizations and private companies working together to reduce emissions from diesel engines in the Midwest.

Diesel emissions contain large amounts of nitrogen oxides and fine particles (soot). Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ground-level ozone (smog), which is a lung irritant, and fine particles can aggravate respiratory and heart diseases. Fine particles can also impact lung function and structure.

A copy of the request for proposals is at http://www.grants.gov/ and http://www.epa.gov/midwestcleandiesel. The title of the announcement is "Region 5 Clean School Bus USA." For more information, contact Julie Henning by e-mail at henning.julie@epa.gov.

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