Jordan School District (JSD), the largest of the U.S. State of Utah’s school districts, currently has the largest fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) school buses in the state and the Board of Education just approved an additional 36 new CNG buses. That is deserving of recognition, says Utah Senator Cheryl Acton, who has introduced a resolution commending Jordan School District for their commitment to clean transportation.
Many of the buses are being paid for in part by $1.7 million in grant money. The grants were awarded to the District because of everything being done to contribute to cleaner air for children and all citizens now and in the future.
This resolution recognizes the efforts by JSD to contribute to improved public health by acquiring school buses that operate on compressed natural gas with little additional expense to taxpayers.. It highlights several provisions that Senator Acton says justify the offical commendation, including:
- JSD has the largest fleet of CNG buses in Utah.
- The 111 CNG buses we own emit 40 to 86% less particulate matter into the air compared to old diesel buses.
- The fuel savings are huge. After a .50 cent federal rebate on every gallon of natural gas used in the CNG buses, fuel can at times cost nothing as supply ranges between 50 cents to $1.00 a gallon.
- The Wasatch Front, where the school buses operate, is known to have some of the most challenging short-term air quality issues. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reclassified the Wasatch Front from a “moderate” to a “serious” non-attainment area, based on the Clean Air Act’s air quality health standards;
- Most of the 2,895 school buses being used by 41 school districts and charter schools burn diesel fuel;
- Numerous studies have concluded that the younger a person is, the more susceptible that person is to the dangers of diesel exhaust fumes, resulting in increased health risks associated with lung disease, cancer, and heart disease;
- The concentration of numerous idling diesel school buses around schools contributes to poor air quality, impacting the health of children and other members of the community;
- One CNG school bus saves the equivalent of the emissions produced by 35 cars on the road;
- JSD currently has the state’s largest fleet of CNG school buses and adopted its first CNG bus 20 years ago;
The initial cost to acquire one CNG bus is approximately $25,000 to $30,000 more than the cost to acquire a regular school bus. Despite the higher initial cost to acquire CNG buses, JSD has reduced school bus operational costs due to the lower cost per gasoline gallon equivalent of CNG and the acquired rebates
There are now 65 CNG fueling stations across Utah and JSD owns and operates its own CNG fueling station.
The Resolution “commends Jordan School District for its exemplary contribution to the public health of the citizens of the state of Utah by acquiring a fleet of CNG school buses with little additional expense to taxpayers, reducing emissions and improving air quality”.
Source: Government of the State of Utah