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Grant Money to Help Reduce Harmful School Bus Emissions

By Kelley Weiss

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kcur/local-kcur-567650.mp3

Kansas City, MO – The EPA is giving Kansas City more than $200,000 this morning to help kids breathe easier while riding the bus to school. KCUR's Kelley Weiss reports.

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The Mid-America Regional Council will use $1.2 million in grants from the EPA, Federal Highway Administration and the Kansas Health Department to reduce harmful emissions from buses in seventeen school districts, in both Kansas and Missouri.

MARC Air Quality Program Manager, James Joerke, says more than 1300 school buses will be retrofitted with catalytic converters that will reduce harmful pollutants by about two-thirds. Joerke says this will lessen health risks of all kids riding buses but especially for the 25,000 kids in Kansas City with asthma.

James Joerke: "Even kids who don't have any respiratory problems can be adversely affected by emissions from school buses to the extent that you have carbon monoxide and fine particles coming from diesel school buses."

Joerke says the converters on the diesel buses will protect kids from long-term respiratory problems as well as reducing city wide ground-level ozone pollution.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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