Environment
5:11 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Reducing Asthma and Emissions: Area School Buses Get Green Upgrade

Fewer pollutants will be fuming from KC area school buses, with the help of a nearly $400,000 EPA grant.

The funding will help install emission-reducing equipment in about 130 buses in Liberty, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, and Kansas City, Kansas.

Greg Crable, with the EPA, says new fuel-operated heaters will warm up buses without using the buses' diesel engines.

"If you've ever been around a school at the end of the day when buses are sitting there idling, waiting for kids to get out - All of that is getting into the air itself and then those exhausts are getting into the school building itself," says Crable. "So these heaters allow them [buses] to turn their engines off, save fuel and reduce emissions."

Some buses will get diesel oxidation catalysts, which break down harmful engine pollutants. Others will get CCV's, which prevent diesel emissions from getting into the bus itself, reducing student exposure to a major asthma trigger.

The EPA estimates that in KCK alone, the installments in 59 of their buses will reduce diesel emissions by a total of 150 tons over the lifetime of those vehicles.

The KCK school district, meanwhile, says the EPA grant means nearly three quarters of its buses will now have some form of pollution reduction equipment. Last year, the district bought 47 natural gas school buses, with support from a $4 million Department of Energy grant.

-----------------

Find more Health Coverage on KCUR.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Download recent health stories or subscribe to the KCUR Health Podcast.

Follow KCUR health news on Twitter or become a KCUR fan on Facebook.