The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 today presented a $454,849 grant to Grace Hill Settlement House to fund the St. Louis School Bus Retrofit program in greater St. Louis, Mo. First Student, Inc., which provides school bus service throughout St. Louis, will use the funds to make emission reduction improvements to 520 school buses it owns and operates in the St. Louis area. The grant was awarded under EPA’s Blue Skyways Collaborative.
The grant check was presented at a ceremony at the First Student Bus Yard on Hall Street in St. Louis. In a statement from the EPA, William Rice, Region 7 Acting Administrator, noted, “St. Louis Public Schools and First Student are to be commended for partnering together to assure safe, healthy, and more environmentally friendly transportation services for St. Louis children.”
The funds will be used to retrofit buses with crankcase ventilation filters. This retrofit will keep more than 26.5 tons of particulate matter and 345.2 tons of hydrocarbons from entering the air annually.
Wayne Gensler, Regional Vice President of First Student, the nation’s largest provider of school transportation commented, “School buses have long been the safest form of transportation for our students and we are proud to participate in programs that make them more efficient. We constantly aim to reduce bus emissions by investing in our fleet, adopting new technologies, exploring alternative fuels and enacting sustainable policies.”
Nicol Jones, FirstGroup America: 513-362-4546
Beckie Himes, EPA: 913-387-7549