February 7, 2018 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded more than $1 million to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, for electric shuttle buses. The funds, administered under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), help improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel vehicles.
“EPA’s clean-diesel grants help cities improve air quality and achieve regulatory standards,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “The Bush airport’s grant will help reduce pollution and improve quality of life for communities near the airport.”
“Improving air quality through the use of alternative technologies is a priority of the Houston Airport System,” said Houston Airport System environmental manager Carlos Ortiz. “With the assistance of the EPA, we are able to reduce emissions from diesel-powered shuttle buses and promote the use of alternative technologies at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.”
The $1,032,104 grant allows the airport to purchase four electric-power shuttle buses to replace diesel-burning buses. This is expected to reduce tons of pollution per year—nearly 12.4 tons of pollutants that contributes to ozone and 0.1 tons of particulate matter. This will not only help improve air quality, but also help improve overall respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous system health for people living in communities surrounding the airport.
DERA funding helps improve air quality by giving grants to schools, municipalities and other local government groups to replace or improve aging diesel fleets. Grants are typically targeted to areas with poor air quality. The funds allow grantees to retrofit existing vehicles with emission-reducing technology, or to replace vehicles with newer, cleaner-burning models.
As a result of EPA regulations, diesel engines manufactured today are cleaner than ever before. But because diesel engines can operate for 30 years or more, millions of older, dirtier engines are still in use. Reducing exposure to diesel exhaust from these engines is especially important for human health and the environment. EPA offers funding for projects that reduce diesel emissions from existing engines.