NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: MARCH 12, 2014


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Air and Radiation recently selected Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here, for its Clean Air Excellence Award in the Transportation Efficiency Innovations category. The project, which was a joint effort of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Transportation Services Section and the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Air Quality (DAQ), was selected from among 70 applicants for its impact, innovation and replication.

NCDPI Transportation Services Director Derek Graham said, "Our statewide transportation team keeps over 13,000 buses running safely on a daily basis. In addition, they have been eager to embrace new technologies, alternative fuels, reduced idling policies and various clean air education initiatives to help ensure the health of students."

The NCDPI partnered with the DAQ in this ongoing 18-year effort as a way to improve air quality. The Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here program reached that goal through various technological, policy, outreach and transportation efforts.

For example, local, state and federal funds totaling nearly $3.6 million were used to replace, repower or retrofit 1,891 school buses with exhaust controls. The NCDPI adopted policies and incentives to reduce idling by bus drivers, and the DAQ helped with education/outreach by educating bus drivers on the benefits of idle reduction. Efforts to reduce idling also help with fuel conservation.

The Clean Air Excellence Awards Program recognizes and honors outstanding and innovative efforts to achieve cleaner air. Staff from the NCDPI and the DAQ will attend the 2014 Clean Air Excellence Awards Ceremony in Crystal City, Va. on April 2 to accept the award.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.