Division for Air Quality

Press Release Date:  Monday, December 12, 2005  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Robb

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2005) – School children and parents are breathing easier in Montgomery County, due to a program to reduce emissions from diesel school buses by combining biodiesel fuel and an idling reduction policy.

Children are particularly sensitive to air pollution, as they breathe more air relative to their body weight than adults do.  The Kentucky Division for Air Quality applauds the efforts of school district staff to implement these changes,” stated John Lyons, the division’s director.

Biodiesel is relatively nontoxic and decreases health risks associated with petroleum diesel by reducing air pollutants coming from the tailpipe.  This benefits children as they ride or wait for buses.   School buses in Montgomery County are running on a blend of 10 percent biodiesel (B10). A B10 blend can reduce tailpipe emissions of carbon monoxide and particulate matter, which can cause coughing, asthma, and cardiovascular problems, by 5 percent.  Sulfur dioxide emissions and air toxics emissions are also reduced.

 “Reductions in tailpipe emissions are going to help our children breathe easier.  And helping children is my motivation for being in this position,” stated school Superintendent Daniel Freeman.
Under the idling reduction policy, school buses waiting to pick up children can idle for no longer than 5 minutes.  That means children are exposed to less exhaust.  It may also better the indoor air quality of the school, as bus-loading zones are often located near school air intakes.