June 19, 2008
Last Thursday, Governor Deval Patrick announced a plan to install pollution control equipment on 5,500 diesel school buses by 2010.
The initiative, MassCleanDiesel: Clean Air for Kids, will fund retrofits for all school buses through the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The announcement was made in Lynn, MA, which will be serviced by newly retrofitted school buses operated by the first bus company to sign up for funding, the North Reading Transportation Co.
Though the program is voluntary, bus companies are encouraged to join to avoid any potential later costs. We are currently working to pass the Diesel Bill, which would require state and municipal buses and other diesel powered heavy-duty vehicles to be retrofitted by 2012.
Cleaner school buses is a key victory in ACE's campaigns against asthma and air pollution. In 2006, we got the State to commit to spending $22.5 million on retrofitting school and transit buses ($16.5 million of which is being used for school buses). In another promising move, Governor Patrick instructed Secretary of Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles to complete a comprehensive, statewide diesel reduction plan by Labor Day.
ACE is a partner in the Massachusetts Diesel Pollution Solution Coalition, a group of environmental justice and advocacy organizations working on a comprehensive strategy to clean up diesel pollution in Massachusetts. For more information on this campaign, please contact Jodi.