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Home > Natural Resources > Air Quality Resources, Compliance and Solutions

Schoolbus strategies for kids and air

Schoolbus retrofitting and replacement can save up to 85% of the particulate matter that kids are exposed to while riding to and from school. Would you like a solution?

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California's oldest school bus is officially retiring after 55 years transporting thousands of children to and from schools in the Mojave Desert area. With funding provided by the Air Resources Board's (ARB) Lower Emission School Bus Program, the Mojave Unified School District is adding to its fleet a brand new school bus to continue servicing the area's youngest population.

In a continuing effort to clean the environment and protect children's health, Governor Schwarzenegger and the California Legislature authorized $25 million dollars to fund the ARB Lower Emission School Bus Program for the 2005-2006 fiscal year.

Half of this total was assigned to specifically replace about 90 of the state's oldest pre-1977 buses with new vehicles that comply with current federal passenger safety standards.

The other half was earmarked to retrofitting newer school buses with diesel particulate filters that will reduce particulate matter (PM) by at least 85%.

The ARB school bus replacement program maximizes both air quality and safety benefits by providing less polluting and safer school buses for the most vulnerable sector of the population, and it minimizes general exposure to pollutants that deteriorate public health.

Exhaust emissions from older, high emitting, diesel-powered school buses are a source of public exposure to toxic diesel PM and can be especially harmful to children and other sensitive people.

A 2003 ARB-sponsored study confirmed that children can be exposed to diesel emissions from the buses in which they ride. The study also confirmed that exposure to this 'self-pollution' is worse in pre-1987 vehicles, which have deteriorating engines as well as interior cabins that allow more pollution into the bus.


How about identifying the oldest schoolbuses in your community and raising funds to replace it...or retrofitting ALL school buses with diesel particulate filters that will reduce particulate matter (PM) by at least 85%?
And while you're looking for cost effective solutions, you might ask suppliers why these vehicles were constructed to these standards...and how they can help retrofit their products most cost effectively...hint, hint!

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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