News Release 349

Department of Natural Resources’ Green Fleet Grant will reduce diesel emission

Volume 38-349 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer
573-751-3807

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JUNE 16, 2010-- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recently received a $1,872,739 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to fund a number of diesel emission reduction projects throughout the state.

This grant, which is named the Missouri Green Fleet Project, will greatly reduce diesel emissions in three target areas of the state: St. Louis, Kansas City and the Springfield/southwest Missouri areas.

The department will issue subgrants to St. Louis Regional Clean Cities, the Mid-America Regional Council and the Ozark Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University to implement a variety of projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions in the target areas of the state.

St. Louis Regional Clean Cities will be receiving a subgrant for $477,800. The St. Louis area project will include retrofitting 197 school buses with fuel-operated heaters. These heaters help warm a school bus without requiring the bus to idle first.

Reducing idling times in school districts will have multiple benefits. Unnecessary idling wastes fuel, increases emissions and increases maintenance costs for engines. By reducing the idling times in school buses around the state, the schools will reduce their operating costs and improve the quality of the air to which their students are exposed.

The Mid-America Regional Council will be receiving a subgrant for $611,394. The Kansas City area project will include retrofitting 169 school buses with fuel-operated heaters, replacing an old school bus with a new bus that will meet 2010 emission standards, and retrofitting three switch engine locomotives with auxiliary power units and automatic engine shutdown/startup devices. These devices will greatly reduce the amount of time these locomotives spend idling.

The Ozark Center for Sustainable Solutions at Drury University will be receiving a subgrant for $739,200. The southwest Missouri area project will include retrofitting 118 school buses operating in the area with fuel-operated heaters or diesel oxidation catalysts, replacing eight older school buses with brand new buses that will meet 2010 emission standards and retrofitting 14 trash trucks and 45 concrete mixers with diesel oxidation catalysts.

These projects are expected to keep nearly 13,000 tons of diesel emissions from entering Missouri’s air through the life of the buses, locomotives and other diesel equipment that will be replaced or retrofitted.

This project places a large focus on school bus retrofits and replacements in the three target areas. Reducing diesel emissions from school buses is especially important because children are more susceptible to the negative health effects of diesel emissions as their respiratory and immune systems are still developing.

In 2009, the Missouri State Highway Patrol shared information with the department from its annual statewide school bus inspections. The department compiled that information into an inventory and is using that inventory to model emissions coming from Missouri school buses. Additionally, the department is using the inventory to develop grant applications that target school buses in Missouri that are good candidates for retrofits and early replacements. The applications developed by the department that have been selected for this award, and the success of the applications can be attributed to the information received from the Highway Patrol.

The department is committed to developing ways to reduce diesel emissions, which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone. Diesel emissions are known to cause and aggravate lung and respiratory diseases such as asthma. Reducing emissions is an important step toward protecting public health and improving the air quality in Missouri.

For more information on what the department is doing to improve air quality in Missouri and the role Missourians play in improving air quality, call the department's Air Pollution Control Program at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-4817 or visit the department's website at dnr.mo.gov/env/apcp.

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