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February 26, 2004

School Officials Will Get Information on Reducing Harmful Diesel Emissions

SPRINGFIELD --- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a series of  “clean school bus” workshops that will be held 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 hosted by the Illinois EPA, and 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,” said Governor Blagojevich.
“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 impact 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 ten workshops will be held on February 26, 2004 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 1:00 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.                   
A new feature to 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.
The locations and dates are:                                      
February 26:                 Springfield                   
Crowne Plaza Hotel
3000 South Dirksen Parkway, Springfield
March 10:                    Collinsville       
            Gateway Center
1 Gateway Dr., Collinsville
March 18:                    Quincy
                        Holiday Inn Hotel
201 South Third St., Quincy
March 23:                    Champaign
                        Holiday Inn
1001 Killarney Street, 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 Rd., Des Plaines
May 11:                       Effingham
Keller Inn and Convention Center
1202 North Keller Drive, Effingham
May 12:                       Carbondale
City of Carbondale City Hall Civic Center
Room #108
200 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale


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