School districts were honored at the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation’s (GAPT) 50th Annual Conference & Trade Show at Jekyll Island, Georgia, last month, when the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) presented 36 school district systems with the Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction (GaDER) Awards.
The Blue Sky Award is the highest achievement offered in the GaDER Program and is awarded to school systems that have reduced emissions in 75% or more of their school bus fleet.
The following school districts were recipients of the Blue Sky Award: Atlanta Public Schools, Henry County Schools and Newton County Schools.
The GaDER Gold Award is awarded to school systems that have reduced emissions in 26% to 74% of their school bus fleet through early replacement of buses, installation of emissions control equipment and/or the use of alternative fuels.
The following school systems were recipients of the GaDER Gold Award:
• Banks County Schools
• Barrow County Schools
• Bartow County School System
• Bibb County School District
• Burke County Public School System
• Carroll County Schools
• Clarke County Schools
• Clayton County Public Schools
• Cobb County School District
• Coweta County School System
• DeKalb County School District
• Dooly County Schools
• Fayette County Schools
• Gordon County Schools
• Griffin-Spalding County School System
• Gwinnett County Public Schools
• Jackson County School System
• Madison County School District
• Marietta City Schools
• Muscogee County School District
• Pickens County Schools
• Rockdale County Public Schools
• Walker Schools
• Washington County Public Schools
The GaDER Green Award is awarded to school systems that have reduced emissions in 25% or less of their school bus fleet through installation of emissions control equipment and/or the use of alternative fuels.
The following school systems were recipients of the GaDER Green Award:
• Appling County School District
• Cherokee County School District
• Floyd County Schools
• Fulton County Schools
• Hall County Schools
• Houston County School System
• Jeff Davis County Schools
• Monroe County Schools
• Richmond County School System
Division representatives attended this year’s GAPT Conference to present the GaDER Awards.
“Older diesel buses emit a high amount of particles in the exhaust,” said William Cook, EPD environmental engineer and manager of the GaDER Program. “New buses and those that have been retrofitted with diesel particulate filters reduce these particulates by more than 85%, which results in a significant improvement in the air quality inside and around the school bus. Transportation directors and their staff who receive a GaDER award should be celebrated for their hard work and dedication to ensure that schoolchildren are riding in the safest and cleanest buses available.”
The GADER School Bus Program assists Georgia school systems by offering grants, technical assistance and education.