The EPA has awarded $343,450 to the Kansas Department of Health & Environment to retrofit 59 Kansas City, Kan. school district buses and replace diesel construction equipment used by the city of Wichita earlier than normal. The EPA grant is part of a $762,170 project with the remaining funding coming from other sources.
The grant will provide for the purchase of diesel oxidation catalyst equipment and fuel operated heaters for the school buses. Twenty-four buses will get both pieces of equipment and 35 will get only heaters.
A diesel oxidation catalyst uses a chemical process to break down diesel engine pollutants in the exhaust stream, turning them into less harmful components. Fuel operated heaters allow bus drivers to keep the heat on and maintain a warm interior without having to run the engine on idle.
Two pieces of construction equipment used by the City of Wichita will be replaced, and engines on two additional vehicles will be repowered. Replacing vehicles or equipment with uncontrolled engines with newer technology provides significant improvements in emissions, fuel efficiency, reliability, and maintenance costs.
EPA has awarded $50 million for clean diesel projects as part of its ongoing campaign to reduce harmful emissions in the air and better protect people's health. These efforts will replace, retrofit or repower more than 8,000 older school buses, trucks, locomotives, vessels, and other diesel powered machines.
Reducing emissions from existing diesels provides cost-effective public health and environmental benefits while supporting green jobs at manufacturers, dealerships and businesses across the country.
Diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 333,000 tons of soot annually. Diesel pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days.
While EPA's standards significantly reduce emissions from newly manufactured engines, clean diesel projects funded through these grants will work to address the more than 11 million older diesel engines that continue to emit higher levels of harmful pollution.