SCHOOL BUS RETROFITS ARE A GOOD FIT FOR NEW
JERSEY SCHOOL CHILDREN
DEP Advances Commitment To Reduce Children's
Exposure To Diesel Exhaust
(04/126) Trenton -- Advancing its work
to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust from school
buses, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
Bradley M. Campbell today announced a one-of-a kind retrofit
project for New Jersey school buses. Public Service Enterprise
Group Incorporated (PSEG) has joined forces with Camptown
Bus Lines to install retrofit devices on up to 46 school
buses in Newark, marking the first time retrofit technology
has been installed on school buses in New Jersey.
"We are pleased that companies like PSEG and Camptown
Bus Lines have voluntarily stepped up to the plate to achieve
cleaner air for our school children," said Commissioner
Campbell. "On average, children spend an hour and a
half each weekday riding in school buses. That amounts to
more than 300 hours every year that Newark school children
will be breathing cleaner air."
Commissioner Campbell made today's announcement at the
Clinton Avenue School in Newark, one of 19 schools that
will be served by the low-emissions buses. Joining Campbell
were PSEG President Frank Cassidy and Newark school officials.
Assemblyman John McKeon, a co-sponsor of legislation with
Senator Bob Smith to reduce diesel emissions from on-road
and off-road vehicles, was also present.
The retrofits will reduce particulate emissions by over
50 percent. Diesel emissions are a likely carcinogen, and
include fine particles, commonly called soot. These pollutants
are known to cause asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, heart
disease and premature death. Diesel exhaust ranks among
the air pollutants that pose the greatest risk to public
health. Research has shown that fine particles are harmful
because they bypass the body's natural defense mechanisms
and penetrate deep into the lungs.
Children are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects
of soot because their respiratory systems are still developing
and they have a faster breathing rate. The incidence of
asthma among school children in urban areas is especially
high and increasing at an alarming rate.
DEP's support for the voluntary installation of retrofits
in school buses is just one element of a campaign by the
Department to reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust.
In early October, DEP kicked-off its anti-idling campaign,
urging school districts and school bus operators to voluntarily
eliminate school bus idling while waiting to load and unload
PSEG is contributing $100,000 to retrofit the 46 buses
owned and operated by Camptown Bus Lines. MJ Bradley Associates
of Cambridge, Massachusetts developed and is managing the
retrofit project. Environmental Services Worldwide (ESW)
is providing the emissions reduction technology and Environmental
Systems Products (ESP) is the provider of remote emissions
measuring technology that will monitor and document the
emissions reductions. The retrofit will be done in two phases.
Work on approximately 14 buses has been completed and the
remainder will be done by December 31, 2004.
To learn more about diesel emissions and public health,
visit DEP's Web site: www.stopthesoot.org