Did you catch my post a few months back about banning school bus idling? It's an issue that comes up every school year in districts across the U.S. as parents, students, and school administrators work to find ways to keep kids safe and healthy on their ride to school. Many areas are working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Clean School Bus program to find ways to eliminate unnecessary school bus idling, replace old buses with newer, less-polluting models, and retrofit buses that remain in the fleet with better emission control technologies. The problem is making all of these changes fit into each school district's continually diminishing budget.

This week, New York City signed a bill into law that would make these changes mandatory. The bill would add filters to school buses, as well as require the vehicles to retire after 16 years of service — effectively eliminating the oldest, dirtiest buses from our streets and replacing them with buses that meet the most stringent emissions standards in the world. It will bring more of the newest, cleanest school buses to the city as soon as next year. (For a full background on the bill, check out the Natural Resource Defense Council's blog post from Rich Kassel, NRDC’s director of the Clean Fuels and Vehicles Project.)

New York City's new law is a smart step forward to help improve the health of NYC's children, and the latest step in a series of groundbreaking laws and programs that have dramatically reduced diesel pollution in New York City and nationwide. Finally, something to cheer about!

Photo: woodleywonderworks

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