NCSS trans­porta­tion de­part­ment awarded for school bus emis­sions re­duc­tions

The Covington News - - LOCAL - ROB DEWIG rdewig@cov­news.com

As the big yel­low buses get ready to go round and round the county packed with stu­dents, they will be tout­ing brag­ging rights for help­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

The New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) was given the Ge­or­gia Diesel Emis­sions Re­duc­tion (GaDER) Blue Sky Award last month by the Ge­or­gia En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Divi­sion (EPD) at the Ge­or­gia As­so­ci­a­tion for Pupil Trans­porta­tion’s (GAPT) 50th An­nual Con­fer­ence and Trade Show for re­duc­ing emis­sions in 75 per­cent or more of its school bus fleet. Only two other school sys­tems in Ge­or­gia re­ceived this high­est achieve­ment of­fered in the GaDER Pro­gram.

Ran­dall Luna, trans­porta­tion co- or­di­na­tor, and Michael Barr, direc­tor of sup­port ser­vices, ac­cepted the award on be­half of the NCSS.

“Work­ing dili­gently to be good stew­ards of the en­vi­ron­ment serves ev­ery cit­i­zen in our com­mu­nity,” said NCSS Su­per­in­ten­dent Sa­man­tha Fuhrey. “I am proud of the ef­forts of our trans­porta­tion team to re­duce our con­tri­bu­tion to pol­lu­tion through re­duced emis­sions. To be named as one of only three dis­tricts in the state to re­ceive the Blue Sky Award is cer­tainly con­fir­ma­tion of the fo­cused work of the New­ton County School Sys­tem’s trans­porta­tion team.”

Emis­sions re­duc­tions are achieved through the early re­place­ment of older buses, the use of al­ter­na­tive fu­els or by in­stalling emis­sions con­trol de­vices on the buses, ac­cord­ing to an NCSS press re­lease. The GaDER School Bus Pro­gram helps school sys­tems across the state by pro­vid­ing grants, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and ed­u­ca­tion.

“Older diesel buses emit a high amount of par­ti­cles in the ex­haust. New buses and those that have been retro­fit­ted with diesel par­tic­u­late fil­ters re­duce these par­tic­u­lates by more than 85 per­cent, which re­sults in a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in the air qual­ity in­side and around the school bus,” said Wil­liam Cook, EPD en­vi­ron­men­tal engi­neer and GaDER Pro­gram man­ager. “Trans­porta­tion di­rec­tors and their staff who re­ceive a GaDER sward should be cel­e­brated for their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to en­sure that school chil­dren are rid­ing in the safest and clean­est buses avail­able.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the GaDER Pro­gram, go to gader­pro­gram.org.

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