The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched the Clean School Bus USA Program in 2002 to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust and the amount of air pollution created by older, diesel school buses that emitted high levels of soot. The target is to replace 400,000 soot-emitting school buses off the nation's roads by 2010 through purchases of newer, lower emission vehicles, engine and tailpipe retrofits such as diesel oxidation catalysts and particulate matter filters, idle reduction policies and technology and the purchase of clean fuels. Since its inception, the program, which has been rolled It is one of four programs rolled up under EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign.
School districts across the country have applied for both federal and state grant funds and received awards to update their older school bus fleets.
As part of Clean School Bus USA, EPA encourages participating school districts to incorporate lessons learned in proper vehicle maintenance, which includes regular preventative maintenance and proper selection and analysis of retrofit technologies and alternative fuels. As part of its Clean School Bus USA Program, the EPA recommends school districts employ proper preventative maintenance to ensure that school buses remain in tip-top shape and function in as environmentally friendly way as possible. This includes: replacing intake air filters and monitoring fuel and oil consumption; repairing all exhaust leaks; exercising caution when considering the use of fuel additives; retaining engine profile information and; monitoring engines and fuel systems for leaks.