Friday, Feb. 27

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Engines, pollution control, biofuel,
idling and funding part of
'clean school bus' workshops
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School officials will get information on reducing harmful diesel emissions

[FEB. 27, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD --- Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced on Wednesday a series of "clean school bus" workshops that will be conducted throughout Illinois to provide additional information to Illinois school officials on reducing emissions from diesel-powered school bus fleets.

The 10 free workshops, from Feb. 26 through May 12, are being hosted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. They are designed to provide an overview of the governor's Illinois Clean School Bus Program and offer assistance to Illinois school districts on the many options available, including funding, to benefit the children and communities of Illinois.

"This program will help provide safer environments for the children in our schools as well as benefiting our economy because of the many contributions our state is making to cleaner fuels and engines," the governor said.

"By hosting these workshops, the Illinois EPA will directly assist Illinois' school administrators and answer questions they may have regarding the governor's Clean School Bus Program," said Illinois EPA Director Renee Cipriano. "The workshops will also include diesel engine and fuel manufacturing representatives, to allow attendees to see the clean-diesel options available for school buses today."

The governor's Clean School Bus Program includes potential grants for emission control devices, cleaner burning engines and fuels, and other solutions to reduce harmful particles from diesel engines that can affect Illinois school children. A major enforcement case settlement and potential federal grants and corporate Adopt-A-Bus contributions are part of the program, as well as the workshops and other educational efforts.

The program not only helps clean the air but benefits the Illinois economy because of firms in the state that manufacture cleaner burning engines and control technology and biodiesel, a fuel made from soybeans grown by Illinois farmers.

The first of the 10 workshops was Thursday at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield. The remaining workshops will take place in Collinsville, Quincy, Champaign, Peoria, Rockford, Joliet, Des Plaines, Effingham and Carbondale. Each workshop will run from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. The agendas include an overview of the Illinois Clean School Bus Program, funding options and two panel discussions on clean engines, retrofit options and clean fuels.

 

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A new feature of the Illinois Clean School Bus Program to be highlighted is information on school bus idling. The Illinois EPA has developed a fact sheet on school bus idling, encouraging Illinois school districts to adopt anti-idling policies and guidelines.

Those interested in attending one of the Illinois Clean School Bus workshops should contact the Illinois EPA at (217) 558-7198. Additional information on the Illinois Clean School Bus Program is also available at www.epa.state.il.us/air/cleanbus.

Workshop dates and locations

  • March 10, Collinsville
    Gateway Center, 1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville
  • March 18, Quincy
    Holiday Inn Hotel, 201 South Third St., Quincy
  • March 23, Champaign
    Holiday Inn, 1001 Killarney St., Urbana
  • March 30, Peoria
    Holiday Inn Hotel -- City Centre, 500 Hamilton Blvd., Peoria
  • April 22, Rockford
    Holiday Inn, 7550 E. State St., Rockford
  • April 27, Joliet
    Holiday Inn Express Hotel, 411 South Larkin Ave., Joliet
  • April 28, Des Plaines
    Westin Hotel O'Hare, 6100 N. River Road, Des Plaines
  • May 11, Effingham
    Keller Inn and Convention Center, 1202 North Keller Drive, Effingham
  • May 12, Carbondale
    Carbondale City Hall Civic Center, Room 108, 200 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale

[News release from the governor's office]

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