School Bus Idle Reduction Print

Project Overview: 

Every day tens of thousands of school children across Wisconsin ride on school buses that utilize diesel fuel, exposing them to hazardous pollutants and increasing their potential to suffer from adverse health effects. Leonardo Academy, through a grant provided by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, facilitated efforts to reduce diesel emissions among several Wisconsin school bus fleets – particularly those operating within nonattainment or poorer air quality areas of the state.

Select school buses operated by the Oconto Falls School District, Oconomowoc Transport and Riteway Bus have been installed with direct fired heaters that reduce school bus idling and thus emissions to students in the idling zone. Between 300 to 600 hours of idling by the impacted units will be eliminated per year. The direct fired heaters will also preheat school bus engines to eliminate cold starts, extend engine life, reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions, and provide in-duty supplemental heat.

Children are especially sensitive to air pollution given that their respiratory systems are still developing and they are breathing at a faster rate. Oconomowoc Transport and Riteway Bus operate largely in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, both of which have been designated by the EPA to be in nonattainment for PM2.5 and 8-hour ozone. Leonardo Academy anticipates that the implementation of the proposed strategies will assist the counties in progressing towards the attainment standard.

Key Project Information:

Equipment: School Bus
Project: Idle Reduction- Direct Fired Heaters
Location: Wisconsin
Number of Engines: 47
Project Year: 2010
Funding Agency: US EPA- National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program

Estimated Project Benefits:

  • CO2 Reduced-  1,370 tons
  • NOx Reduced-  41 tons
  • PM Reduced- 1.5 tons
  • Diesel Savings-400,000 gal
  • Fuel Cost Savings- $1,800,000

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