NC RECEIVES SIX NEW "CLEAN DIESEL" SCHOOL BUSES
Starting this August, students in four eastern North Carolina school districts will be riding to and from school in new buses that do more to protect the environment. The state today received its first-ever delivery of six new buses that meet 2010 emission requirements. The buses will replace older units in Wilson, Edgecombe, Pitt and Nash counties. Funding for the new buses was provided to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, which received funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"We already know that school buses are the safest way for children to get to and from school," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "We are pleased to be able to do our part in also helping to make the air healthier for students and grateful to the EPA for sharing the cost of these new clean diesel buses."
Wilson, Edgecombe, Pitt and Nash Counties were selected by the NCDPI for early school bus replacement and diesel engine retrofits due to air quality concerns identified by the North Carolina Division of Air Quality and EPA. Without this grant, each of the six buses being replaced would still be running regular school bus routes for an average of seven more years or 75,000 more miles. In these six new buses, Nitrogen oxide (NOx) exhaust emissions – which contribute to acid rain, smog and greenhouse gas levels – are reduced to 0.2g/bhp-hr -which is 20 times less than 1998 engines.
"These new buses will be healthier for the students and people in these counties," said Sheila Holman, director of the N.C. Division of Air Quality. "By emitting less nitrogen oxide, the new buses also will better position the state to meet its goals and the possibility of stricter air quality standards from the EPA."
For more information about EPA's clean diesel initiatives, please visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel. For more information on North Carolina's grant, please contact the NCDPI's Communications division at 919.807.3450 or the North Carolina Division of Air Quality at 919.715.7408.
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.