Release 09-34
April 8, 2009

    Leo Kay
(916)849-9843 cell
Air Board Chairman issues statement on $1.7 Million in stimulus funds for air quality improvements

SACRAMENTO, CA – Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols issued a statement on today’s announcement by the Obama Administration that it is providing each of the 50 states with $1.7 million to retrofit diesel school buses as part of the overall federal stimulus program.

"The state and its school children thank the Obama Administration for sending this funding our way to clean up older, dirty diesel school buses," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. "We are fast tracking this process so that within just a few short weeks this money will allow mechanics to install particulate filters on buses at dozens of school districts throughout the state, providing jobs and protecting children's lungs at the same time."

The $1.7 million in stimulus funds will help retrofit approximately 100 California school buses with verified retrofit devices to reduce pollution by 0.3 tons of particulate matter per year. ARB plans to get the funding in the hands of local school districts within a month of receiving the funding. To date, ARB has helped fund the cleanup of 3,000 under its clean school bus program, with plans to retrofit an additional 3,000 in the coming years. These funds would create as many as 20 jobs and, through the life of the project, would cumulatively reduce diesel particulate matter emissions by 1.5 tons.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.