The Guam Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently received a $29,060 grant award from U.S. EPA through the State Clean Diesel Grant Program to help improve localvair quality from school bus emissions.
The grant will be used to retrofit school buses with technology that reduces the exhaust particulate matter. These retrofits will reduce the amount of emissions school children are exposed to and improve air quality in areas where these buses are heavily used. According to the Guam EPA, a total 129 school buses service tens of thousands island schoolchildren each day.
“To my knowledge, this is the first islandwide effort to reduce emissions from the Government of Guam’s fleet of school buses,” said Administrator of Guam EPA Eric M. Palacios. “This grant will transform some of the oldest and most frequently used buses in Guam to examples of clean emission standards. This adds to the progress we have made in emissions reduction through the implementation of the Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) last year.”
Some of the technology to be used includes Diesel Oxidation Catalyst systems and Closed Crankcase Ventilation Systems. The Diesel Oxidation Catalyst system can reduce exhaust emissions by up to 90 percent in some cases.
Guam EPA is partnering with the Guam Department of Public Works (DPW) to complete the retrofit. DPW’s fleet of buses will be ranked and those with the highest score will be the first to receive emissions control equipment When properly installed, Guam EPA said these systems require little to no maintenance, and fuel efficiency is not negatively affected.
“This type of technology is a recent development and we are excited to bring it to the island for the first time,” Palacios added. “Guam EPA will continue to aggressively explore new opportunities that benefit the community, and while protecting our environment.”