FWCS buses go green with stimulus grant - January 28, 2010

Record Number: 5908
Displayed from: Jan 28, 2010 , until: Feb 28, 2010

Fort Wayne Community Schools' buses are emitting fewer pollutants after a $99,000 grant from the American Lung Association paid for the installation of diesel oxidation catalysts on 90 buses. The money originated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and was disbursed through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to entities, such as the American Lung Association. This follows a $50,000 grant given to FWCS by the EPA in 2006 that put similar catalysts on 30 buses. The latest grant brings all 250 buses that transport students daily up to the higher emission standards. Each day, FWCS transports more than 21,000 to and from school. The objective of the grant from the American Lung Association was to prevent the emission of nitrogen oxides, fine particles (soot) and toxins that are emitted in diesel exhaust. Nitrogen oxides are precursors of ozone, and, when breathed, can lodge deep in the lungs. While school buses are the safest way for children to get to school, FWCS wants to make sure pollution from diesel vehicles is reduced to prevent health complications for everyone, especially children. Diesel oxidation catalysts use a chemical process to break down pollutants in the exhaust stream into less harmful components. The catalysts can be installed on most buses. "Cleaner air benefits everyone, but it is especially important for our students with breathing issues, such as those with asthma, and other medically fragile children," said Mary Hess, health services specialist. "Every step we can take to reduce pollutants in the air is a positive step." The work on the buses was done by Cummins Crosspoint's service technicians.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.