First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear Presents Funding Checks for Clean School Bus Emissions
Six districts to receive $196,880
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear today joined Energy and Environment Cabinet Sec. Len Peters and EPA Region IV Acting Administrator Stan Meiberg in presenting checks to six Kentucky school districts participating in the Clean School Bus program. The program is being administered by the Kentucky Division of Air Quality (DAQ).
School districts in Bell, Boone, Fayette, Franklin and Jefferson counties, and Paducah Independent School District will immediately be awarded a total of $196,880 in funds to retrofit school buses with pollution reduction equipment and purchase filter cleaning devices.
“Ensuring clean transportation for our children when traveling to and from school is essential to improving their health and providing a quality education,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “This initiative further complements the ‘Going Green’ projects we have already implemented in the Beshear administration to better protect our environment.”
Last week, Gov. Steve Beshear announced that Kentucky will receive $1.73 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to further support the Clean School Bus program.
While school buses are the safest way to get students to and from school, DAQ is working to ensure that school buses are also the cleanest way to transport students. In Kentucky, 9,883 school buses carry 447,000 students to and from school each day, driving 102 million miles and burning 13 million gallons of diesel fuel. The Clean School Bus program, when implemented by each district, will reduce school bus pollution through a combination of idle reduction policies and bus retrofits.
Ultimately, student absenteeism rates are reduced due to the reduction of asthma and allergy triggers produced by diesel fumes.
Energy and Environment Cabinet Sec. Len Peters said the six districts are taking the lead in protecting children’s health and the environment. “They are setting the standard for other school districts around the state to follow. The links to diesel fumes and children’s health can no longer be ignored. Diesel fumes are linked to increased rates of asthma and allergies, especially in children. I commend these districts for their active role in improving children’s health across the Commonwealth.”
Other school districts interesting in participating can view the grant application online at www.air.ky.gov. The deadline for applying for the funding is May 29, 2009.