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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