Puerto Rico recently unveiled its first school bus retrofitted with pollution control, a CleanAIR Systems ASSURE DOC unit.
The Assure DOC is a flow-through catalyst designed to reduce emissions of particulate matter by at least 20%, hydrocarbons by 50% and carbon monoxide by at least 60%. CleanAir Systems provided the unit pro bono. The retrofitted bus is the start of a national initiative aimed at cleaning up school buses throughout the country as a joint effort between the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Puerto Rico Clean School Bus USA Workgroup.
Launched in 2003 by the EPA, Clean School Bus USA is a voluntary partnership with the goal of reducing children’s exposure to diesel exhaust through the reduction of unnecessary bus idling, providing funding to retrofit buses with emissions control technology, and replacing older buses with less-polluting models.
According to an article published in the journal Population Research and Policy Review, “Puerto Rican children are more likely to have asthma than children in any other racial/ethnic group in the United States.” As noted in a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the University of California at Berkeley School of Public Health, and the Coalition for Clean Air, riding a diesel school bus may increase the risk of cancer and aggravate respiratory problems in children.