#AAFA #Applauds #EPAs #Billion #Investment #Clean #School
Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, the Biden Administration announced the first awards of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean School Bus Program. The nearly $1 billion in awards to 389 school districts is the first round of funding from the $5 billion, five-year program created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) helped to promote the clean school bus program and is thrilled that the EPA nearly doubled the funding available this year due to the high demand from school districts. “This funding will allow school districts across the country to reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution and will be especially beneficial to the nearly 6 million children in the United States with asthma,” says Kenneth Mendez, AAFA President and CEO. “Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children and one of the leading causes of hospitalizations and school absenteeism.”
Poor air quality and exposure to air pollution is a significant risk factor for asthma. Children are especially vulnerable to the dangerous impacts of air pollution like diesel exhaust because their respiratory systems are still developing. Yet, children are exposed to dirty, diesel-powered school buses daily on their way to and from school and are unfairly suffering the health and academic consequences.
AAFA applauds the program’s prioritization of low-income, rural, and tribal communities as neither air pollution nor asthma impact all communities equally. According to AAFA’s 2020 Asthma Disparities in America report, the burden of asthma in the US falls disproportionately on Black, Hispanic and Indigenous people. These groups have disproportionately high rates of poor asthma outcomes, including hospitalizations and deaths. Exposure to air pollution is also disproportionately experienced by low-income communities and communities of color.
In the U.S., the transportation…