National Study Gives Good Marks
to New York's Clean School Bus Programs
June 12, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHITE PLAINS—The Empire State is among the top 16
states making significant progress toward reducing harmful tailpipe
emissions from school buses. A national report from the independent
Union of Concerned Scientists, “School Bus Pollution Report
Card 2006: Grading the States,” rated New York State’s
efforts “Above Average,” noting that, “New York has an active
program to retrofit buses with pollution controls and use cleaner
The findings are based in part on the work
accomplished by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) through its
agreements with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE)
to outfit city school buses with emission reduction devices, while
also introducing the use of cleaner burning diesel fuel. The report
also noted that the New York State Energy Research and Development
Authority (NYSERDA) funds clean school bus projects throughout the
state and New York City.
“Our work with the New York City Department of
Education, to implement and manage a clean school bus program, has
significantly improved air-quality for New York City school
children. We agreed to a strategy consistent with Governor Pataki’s
view that government has the responsibility to lead by example,”
said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA’s president and chief executive officer.
“These results will go a long way towards the quality-of-life
improvements that Governor Pataki envisions for all New Yorkers”
“NYSERDA is proud that the Union of Concerned
Scientists has recognized the achievements that we are making to
address the health effects associated with diesel emissions from
school buses," said Peter R. Smith., NYSERDA’s president and chief
executive officer. "Our Clean Air School Bus Program, using funds
from Governor Pataki’s 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act, has
provided $5 million to 74 school districts throughout the state,
including New York City, to retrofit more than 2,200 buses.”
Smith added, “The technology NYSERDA is funding
will decreases air pollutants by as much as 50 percent and emission
of particulate matter by as much as 90 percent. With initiatives
such as ours and NYPA’s, New York State is investing in ways to
improve our children’s health, and is looking toward a more
environmentally sound future"
Through the joint effort with NYCDOE, NYPA funded
the installation of emission reduction equipment on 1,426 buses, and
the use of cleaner burning fuel for 2,800 buses.
“The NYPA program to introduce ultra low sulfur
diesel fuel and install the catalysts has been effective in reducing
levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides and
hydrocarbons,” said Martin Oestreicher, chief executive of school support services
for the Department of Education. “The NYPA program has proven these
technologies work. We’re moving ahead to clean the air in and around
the balance of the city’s large school bus fleet.”
The program’s installation of emission control
devices, as well as the introduction of cleaner burning ultra-low
sulfur diesel fuel, eliminated nearly 18,000 pounds of particulate
matter, or soot, from the atmosphere.
NYPA contracted with Engine Control Systems to
provide diesel oxidation catalysts, a device certified by the
federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce tailpipe
emissions by up to 40 percent, when used in conjunction with clean
burning ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. The devices were installed on
buses owned by the independent fleet operators participating in the
program. Installation efforts begun in early 2005 were completed in
May 2006 on 1,426 full sized buses.
Under terms of a 2003 clean fuel agreement with the
NYCDOE, NYPA paid the cost differential to purchase more than 12
million gallons of cleaner burning fuel for buses provided by the
independent fleet owners – helping to fuel some 2,800 buses.
Ultra-low sulfur diesel lowers harmful emissions by 10 percent.
Federal air quality mandates requiring the use of cleaner burning
diesel took effect on June 1, 2006.
Of the 1,426 school buses outfitted with emission
controls by the program, 524 are used primarily in Brooklyn; 491 in
the Bronx; 369 in Queens and 42 on Staten Island.
Emission control devices and clean fuel were
supplied under terms of separate installation agreements with the
major providers of student transportation services in New York City:
Amboy Bus Company, Jofaz Transportation, Consolidated Bus Transit
Inc., Logan Bus Company and Pioneer Transportation Corporation.
NYPA’s Clean School Bus program is just one of
several initiatives to help improve air quality for the city’s
children. As part of Governor Pataki’s Clean Water/Clean Air Bond
Act programs, NYPA administered the Clean Air for Schools program
that replaced polluting coal-fired boilers with clean oil and gas
furnaces at 73 public schools in New York City and Buffalo and on
Long Island. NYPA also replaced coal-burning furnaces at 12 other
public schools in a separate pilot program.
NYPA's Clean School Bus Program was part of its
voluntary initiative to offset emissions from the installation of
small, clean power plants at six sites in Brooklyn, Queens and
■ NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.
It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues
earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a
leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and
electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation’s
largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities
in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of
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