FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Five Kentucky school districts are receiving state grants to replace aging diesel buses in order to help reduce emissions into the air.
The Energy and Environment Cabinet has awarded $231,237 to the districts through the Kentucky Division for Air Quality’s Clean Diesel Program and the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.
School districts in Bullitt, Jefferson, Franklin, Letcher and Green counties will use the funds to replace older-model diesel school buses with new diesel buses that will emit 98 percent less particulate matter and 90 percent less nitrogen oxide than the older buses they are replacing. The grants will fund a total of 10 new buses.
“These new, cleaner buses will make a difference,” said Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely. “Students in these districts will breathe easier and their communities will benefit from cleaner air.”
Exposure to diesel exhaust can cause serious health problems like asthma and can worsen existing heart and lung disease. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable.
While diesel engines manufactured today are cleaner than ever, tightening school budgets mean older, diesel buses that emit high levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxide pollution may continue to operate for decades before they are replaced.
The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Department for Environmental Protection is tasked with protecting Kentucky's environment through its divisions of Air Quality, Waste Management, Water, Enforcement and Compliance Assistance.