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Cleaning Up School Bus Fleets: Less Fumes, Same Zoom…. A presentation of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Clean School Bus Coalition. Eric Cheung, Clean Air Council Staff Attorney/ Coordinator Philadelphia Diesel Difference Program

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Cleaning up school bus fleets less fumes same zoom

Cleaning Up School Bus Fleets: Less Fumes,Same Zoom…

A presentation of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Clean School Bus Coalition.

Eric Cheung,

Clean Air Council Staff Attorney/

Coordinator Philadelphia Diesel Difference Program

Presentation to the PA Association of School Business Officials

2004 Transportation Conference

October 21, 2004

Yellow buses in pa zooming along
Yellow Buses in PA:ZOOMING ALONG

  • School buses provide an important service for PA residents

    • 25,823 school buses in operation statewide

    • 1,513,603 students transported to school

    • 346,477,854 annual miles traveled

    • 37,222 school bus drivers employed (PA School Bus Association)

  • Environmental benefits

    • Community-based transportation - not required under PA law.

    • Approximately 80% of all public school students are transported by buses (School Bus Information Council)

    • “B” Grade/”Ahead of the Curve” (Union of Concerned Scientists)

    • 80% of bus PA buses are relatively new (1990s) (UCS)

  • Other benefits

    • Cost per pupil of public expense $491 (SBIC)

    • PA Student fatalities from 1995 – 2000: 5 (all in 1995/1996) (PSBA)

Diesel pollution the fumes
Diesel Pollution: THE FUMES

  • Health risk to children

    • Exacerbates chronic respiratory diseases, bronchitis, asthma

    • Contains known carcinogens

    • Particularly harmful to developing lungs and can even inhibit lung capacity

  • Contributor to poor air quality

    • Diesel trucks and buses are responsible for two-thirds of all particulates, and 40% NOx, which is a smog precursor, from highway vehicles in PA. (US EPA)

    • The Philadelphia region has consistently been in violation of the federal health standards for smog and will be designated as being in violation of the new fine particulate standard.

  • Philadelphia area statistics concerning diesel particulates (from 1999)

    • 260 premature deaths

    • 3,700 asthma attacks (economic cost: $160,000)

    • 32,000 missed days of work (economic cost: ($4.4 million in lost wages)

Introducing the southeastern pa clean school bus coalition
Introducing The Southeastern PA Clean School Bus Coalition

  • Promoting ways and providing assistance to reduce air pollution from school buses.

  • Coalition participants:

  • Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities Program

  • Energy Cooperative of Pennsylvania

  • Lower Merion School District

  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

  • PennFuture

  • PA Department of Environmental Protection

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • Philadelphia Air Management Services

  • School District of Philadelphia

  • Philadelphia Diesel Difference

  • Clean Air Council

  • Johnson Matthey

  • Rentar Environmental Solutions

Philadelphia diesel difference
Philadelphia Diesel Difference

  • Promotes voluntary Clean Diesel technologies and strategies in order to improve air quality in the Greater Philadelphia region.

  • Coordinator: Clean Air Council/Philadelphia Air ManagementServices

  • For more information:Eric Cheung215-567-4004 ext.

Greater philadelphia clean cities program
Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities Program

  • Promotes alternative fuel vehiclesand other petroleum-displacingmeasures to improve air quality,promote economic development,and reduce imported oil.

  • Coordinator: Energy CooperativeOf Pennsylvania

  • For more information:Nathalie Shapiro(215) 413-2122

New diesel regulations
New Diesel Regulations

  • Mid-2006: Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) required for all on-road diesel vehicles

  • 2007: Original equipment manufacturers produce engines with cleaner exhaust systems

  • Combined: New regulations will result in at least 90% reduction of particulates and 95% reduction in NOx.

    But until then…

Voluntary Clean Options!!!!!!

For Diesel Engine Vehicles, Including School Buses

Clean option 1 diesel retrofits after treatment devices
Clean Option #1: Diesel Retrofits/After-Treatment Devices

  • Diesel Particulate Filters + ULSD

  • Diesel Oxidation Catalysts

  • Repower or Replace

  • Success Stories:

    • Wissahickon

    • North Penn

    • Upper Darby

    • West Chester School District (through Krapf Bus Company)

    • North Allegheny County

    • General McLane

Clean option 2 cleaner burning diesel fuel
Clean Option #2: Cleaner Burning Diesel Fuel

  • Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD)

    • Sulfur content at or less than 15 ppm

    • Can reduce particulates by 5 – 9% alone.

    • Diesel Particulate Filters must use ULSD

    • Incremental cost 8 to 25 cents more per gallon

  • Emulsified Diesel

    • Water blend

    • Can see 50% reduction in particulates

    • Incremental cost of 20 cents more per gallon

  • Other Additives

    • Check to be sure technology has been verified

Clean option 3 idling reduction
Clean Option #3: Idling Reduction

  • Idling Reduction Technologies

    • Auxiliary Power Units

    • Direct-Fired Heaters

    • Automatic Engine Idle

  • Idling Reduction Laws

    • Philadelphia

    • Allegheny County (2004)

  • Voluntary Idle Reduction

    • Clean Air Council Program

    • School district policies

Clean option 4 alternatively fueled buses
Clean Option #4: Alternatively Fueled Buses

  • Compressed Natural Gas

  • Propane

  • Biodiesel

  • Success Stories:

    • Lower Merion School District (CNG)

    • Medford Township School District (Biodiesel)

    • Springfield Township School District (Methanol)

    • Great Valley School District (Biodiesel pilot project)


  • Made from vegetable oil (commonly soy or recycled restaurant grease)

  • B20 blend results in 10-15% particulate reductions, but a slight NOx increase

  • Success Stories: PA Turnpike Commission, Valley Forge National Park, Willow Grove Naval Air Base

  • 25 – 30 cent per gallon increase

  • Suppliers:

    • EnergyCooperative of Pennsylvania

    • World Energy

Funding opportunities
Funding Opportunities

  • Clean Buses For Kids Program (

    • $20 Million for Diesel Retrofits

    • Possibility of Biodiesel/ULSD blend

    • Only School Districts who own/operate their fleet can participate

    • We will provide assistance to Southeastern PA fleets

  • U.S. EPA – Clean School Bus USA - $50 Million expected

  • U.S. DOE/Greater Philadelphia Clean Cities – State Energy Program Special Projects


  • Philadelphia Diesel Difference – Adopt-A-School Bus