LYNN, Mass. — Gov. Deval Patrick in June launched “MassCleanDiesel: Clean Air for Kids,” an initiative to install pollution-control equipment on diesel-powered school buses across the state by 2010.
The program, to be administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will equip up to 5,500 school buses with pollution-control equipment using $16.5 million in state and federal funding provided by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works (EOT).
“The buses that take our children to school should not foul the air breathed by those same children, and this program will help put that situation to an end,” said Gov. Patrick during an event held at Julia F. Callahan School. “I applaud the city of Lynn and its school bus operator, North Reading Transportation Co., for stepping forward as the first to volunteer for this new program, and I call on all school districts in the commonwealth and their bus companies to take part.”
Other school systems that have expressed interest in joining the Mass- CleanDiesel program include the Manchester Essex Regional School District in Manchester-by-the- Sea, Southeastern Regional School District in South Easton, and school districts in Andover, Beverly, Cohasset, Egremont, Gill, Greenfield, Lincoln and Monson.
To receive retrofits, school bus owners must enroll in the program, obtain estimates from retrofit vendors and work with the vendors to coordinate equipment installations. MassDEP will reimburse the retrofit vendor directly, provided that installations meet all of the program’s terms.
The MassCleanDiesel initiative is the result of a 2006 agreement between EOT and MassDEP in which $22.5 million in state and federal funds was made available to retrofit school and transit buses across the state. Officials said that it is the nation’s first fully funded statewide program to reduce air pollution from all school buses.
For more information, visit www.mass.gov/dep/air/masscleandiesel.