Friday, July 06, 2007

School Bus Emissions Victory

A few days ago, Susan Eastwood - an incredibly effective and hard-working advocate for school bus emissions reduction - passed along the good word from Sarah Uhl of
The House of Representatives just voted to approve the budget
implementers that put the state budget into effect, following an
overwhelming Senate vote last week. The good news- $10 million for
school bus retrofits is included, with funding spread out over 2
years! The budget now goes to the governor who is expected to sign it.
The funding will cover the full cost of purchasing and installing
pollution control devices for the approximately 3,400 school buses in
the state that are able to be retrofit. This victory is the reward
for years of effort by all of you and without your time and
persistence this wouldn't have happened.
Representative Denise Merrill, co-chair of the Legislature's
Appropriations Committee, should be commended for her work to secure
this funding. Representative Merrill said "I am very pleased that
during the budget negotiations we were able to retain the $10 million
dollars needed to retrofit the state's school buses in order to
protect our children from harmful diesel emissions."
Next steps: Writing positive letters to the editor on this to local
papers, thanking key legislators who made this victory happen,
Future steps: Work with DEP to ensure the program is implemented in a
timely way, and watchdogging the school bus law at the capitol next
year to ensure that the program funds are not reduced and are
adequate to meet the program's goals.
We're also kicking off local campaigns to ensure transit buses are
retrofit in Milford, SE CT, Norwich, Middletown and other areas.

Sarah Uhl
Roger Smith
and the CT Alliance Against Diesel Pollution

Sarah Uhl
Diesel Consultant
Clean Water Action
645 Farmington Ave, Third Floor
Hartford, CT 06105
(p) 860-232-6232 (f) 860-232-6334
Everyone who works so hard on these goals is to be congratulated. Susan has been a tireless advocate for this cause - GO Susan!

Aside from that, in even the smallest of CT towns, the acts of our citizens continue to enhance the lives of the entire state and maybe the nation. The state legislature would be wise to lend an ear to these voices more often. Our big cities have plenty of needs and they often control the legislative agenda. But the solutions to our state problems are found in the broader depth of the population, much of it living in the countryside.

Our kids will be soon healthier and breathing with fewer cases of asthma thanks to this appropriation. I call that a good thing.

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