Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Announces Federal Stimulus Funding for Clean School Bus Emissions
ARRA Dollars to help lower diesel emissions
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division for Air Quality (DAQ) announced that DAQ will be administering at least $1.73 million in funding for Clean School Bus programs through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
“This is an example of how President Obama’s three pillars of education, economy and environment can come together in one initiative,” Gov. Beshear said. “The Clean School Bus programs will create more than 30 jobs, benefit air quality, and reduce student absenteeism due to allergies and asthma. I encourage all of our school districts to apply for this funding.”
While school buses are the safest way to get students to and from school, the 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 Secretary Len Peters said the funding will play an integral part in helping school districts protect children’s health and the environment. “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 encourage all school districts to take an active role in improving children’s health across the commonwealth.”
Interested school districts can view the grant application online at www.air.ky.gov beginning April 21. The deadline for applying for the funding is May 29, 2009.