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The Beaverton School District, near Portland, will almost $3 million—or between $12,000 and $14,000 per bus—to add equipment to 192 school buses that will cut air pollution and dangerous exposures to the particulates in diesel exhaust. The school district anticipates that the Oregon Department of Education will reimburse 70 percent of the total expense as transportation costs. Federal grants are also a possible source of funds for the project. Particulates in diesel exhaust have been shown to cause cancer and other respiratory and heart problems. And nitrogen oxides in the exhaust contribute to air pollution. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says that the new equipment will reduce diesel emissions—both disease-causing particulates and air pollution—by 95 percent. By next summer, most of the necessary retrofitting on Beaverton’s school buses should be complete.
Approximately 25 of Oregon’s 222 school districts have upgraded their bus fleet to minimize diesel emissions. Beaverton is one of only two districts to have done so in the Portland area.
For the full story, go to the Oregonian.