Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Campbell County schools showcase efforts for cleaner-burning school buses

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 20, 2006  
Contact Information:  Elizabeth Robb (502) 573-3382  

ALEXANDRIA, Ky. (April 20, 2006) – Federal, state and local officials today commended the Campbell County School District for its leadership in reducing pollution from its fleet of diesel buses. Superintendent Anthony Strong and Transportation Director Ted Roseberry, who spearheaded a project to retrofit 55 buses with emissions controls, were recognized at a ceremony at Campbell Ridge Elementary School. The ceremony was part of Kentucky’s observance of Earth Week.

The school district, working with the Kentucky Division for Air Quality, won a $341,000 grant for its project from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Presenting the grant today were Carol Kemker, deputy director of EPA’s Division of Air, Pesticides and Toxics Management; Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher; and Kentucky Education Cabinet Deputy Secretary Laura E. Owens.

The EPA is encouraging school districts across the nation to reduce pollution from school buses. It launched the Clean School Bus USA program in 2003 with the goal of upgrading the nation’s school bus fleet to low-emission buses by 2010.  Clean School Bus USA will help ensure that school buses, the safest way to get kids to school, also are the cleanest possible transportation for school children.

Campbell County’s two oldest buses have been replaced. In the next eight months, 35 buses will be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters and 20 will be fitted with a combination of diesel oxidation catalysts and closed crankcase ventilation filters.

Diesel particulate filters will reduce sooty emissions by 75 percent to 85 percent and hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide pollution by at least 60 percent.  Diesel oxidation catalysts will reduce soot by at least 30 percent, hydrocarbons by at least 50 percent and carbon monoxide emissions by at least 30 percent. Air is cleaner for drivers and children aboard the buses, and the community benefits from reduced pollution outdoors. 

“Preservation of our environment is something that we should all try to do as citizens,” Superintendent Strong said. “I am glad that we are able to do our part in making our community a better place to live and work.”

Secretary Wilcher said the district is to be commended for all its clean-bus efforts. “Retrofitting bus engines, using cleaner-burning alternative fuels and reducing unnecessary idling will benefit air quality and children's health,” Wilcher said.  “Actions like these will continue to make an impact long after Earth Day."

Deputy secretary Owens praised the district for the school bus initiative. “The Campbell County School District is to be commended for being good stewards of the environment and of our students,” Owens said. “Thank you for reducing pollution and making sure that school buses are a clean and safe way for our children to get to school.”

For information on clean school buses, go to: http://www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus/

Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22.  Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day in the Commonwealth.  Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.

This is the third year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day.  Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, environmental award presentations and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology.  Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.earthday.ky.gov to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.