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WEST CHESTER SCHOOL DISTRICT GETS $30,000 TO REDUCE EMISSIONS.

On behalf of Governor Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty has awarded $30,000 to West Chester Area School District to purchase and install diesel filters on six school buses to help protect students' health by reducing harmful emissions from particulate matter, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide.

"Diesel emissions can decrease lung function and aggravate serious respiratory illnesses such as asthma -- the leading cause of school absenteeism nationwide," Secretary McGinty said. "This grant will help the school district not only lower harmful emissions from buses, but also ensure the air that students breathe is safer and cleaner. Keeping students healthy gives them an advantage by making sure they are in the classroom rather than home sick."

Krapf Bus Cos. own and operate the buses set to be retrofitted with the filters, which reduce particulate matter emissions from diesel sources by at least 85 percent over 150,000 miles. Cleaner-burning ultra-low sulfur fuel is already in use in the school district.

The grant is federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region III, targeted for a diesel retrofit project in southeastern Pennsylvania. Administration of these funds is part of DEP's participation in the Philadelphia Diesel Difference Coalition, a coalition of diverse stakeholders whose primary purpose is to reduce the air pollutants associated with diesel-powered engines in the greater Philadelphia area.

Fine particulate matter emitted from diesel fuel has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, and is commonly referred to as PM 2.5. Particulate matter also comes from a wide range of sources, including power plants and industrial sources; cars, trucks and buses; wood stoves; and even forest fires. Some particulates are released when fuels are burned; others form in the atmosphere from reactions between gases released from power plants and factories.

These particles can get deep into the lungs and cause significant health problems. PM 2.5 has been determined to be most closely associated with health effects related to increased hospitals admissions and emergency room visits for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and disease, and decreased lung function.

For more information on the air pollution control program, visit DEP's Web site at http://www.dep.state.pa.us, Keyword "Diesel Emissions." A link is also provided on these pages to the Philadelphia Diesel Difference Working Group.

For more information, call 717/787-1323 or visit http://www.dep.state.pa.us.
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Publication:Industrial Environment
Date:Jul 1, 2005
Words:401
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