Georgia School District Wins $1.24 Million EPA Diesel Emissions Grant

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Nearly 600 school buses at Cobb County School District in Marietta, Ga., are getting cleaner thanks to a  an award of more than $1.24 million grant from EPA’s Region 4.

In addition to helping clean the environment and reduce potential health problems for students, the EPA said the funds are aimed at creating jobs.

“This grant is a great investment in environmental protection and will provide long-term economic benefits for Georgia,” added Stan Meiburg, EPA’s acting regional administrator in Atlanta, in a July 19 statement. “This funding will go a long way in helping to bolster the economy and protect public health and the environment by creating green jobs that improve air quality.”

Cobb’s grant application was selected from 98 entrants in EPA Region 4, which serves Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and 6 Native American tribes. The funds are earmarked by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) specifically for clean diesel projects.

The grant will be used to retrofit 108 Cobb County school buses with diesel particulate filters and 480 buses with advanced engine idle control systems. EPA said the retrofits are estimated to reduce vehicle lifetime emissions by: 13.7 tons of nitrogen oxides from idle controls; .56 tons of particulate matter from filters and idle controls; 2.2 tons of carbon dioxide from filters; .80 tons of hydrocarbons from filters; and 480 tons of CO2 from idle controls.

Georgia Tech and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are partnering with Cobb County to implement the new systems.

“We are really excited about this grant. The enhancements to our buses will help us be better stewards of our environment and improve the quality of life in Cobb County,” said Transportation Director Rick Grisham. “Along with our new partners at Georgia Tech, we will be tracking and analyzing emissions reduction data and reporting back to the EPA to show the positive impact the grant will have on our community.”