The Atlanta Public Schools Transportation Department accepted Georgia’s Blue Sky Award on Monday August 25, 2014 for its outstanding work in reducing emissions.
“There isn’t anything more that we can do to help you guys to get cleaner buses. You’ve got the cleanest on the road today,” said William Cook, Engines & Fuels Unit Manager in the Air Protection Branch of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
Only two other school systems in the state, Henry and Newton County schools, received the honor.
The award recognizes districts that have retrofitted or reduced emission in 75 percent or more of its school bus fleet. Atlanta Public Schools reduced emission in 100 percent of its buses.
APS Chief Operating Officer Larry Hoskins and Executive Director of Transportation John Franklin accepted the award at the district’s Metropolitan Parkway bus depot. “I am pleased to represent the Transportation Department in receiving the Blue Sky award GAEPD. The award is a reflection of the district’s commitment to green energy and student health by maintaining a fleet that maintains a 75 percent or better compliance rate with new clean diesel technology,” said Franklin.
The district accomplished this feat over the last ten years, with the help of grants, by removing or replacing buses or by using emission control devices.
“From a tailpipe perspective there just isn’t much more that you can do,” said Cook. “We’re very proud of what you’ve done in reducing those emissions. 100 percent.”
The Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction Program also presents a Gold award for districts that reduce emission by 25 to 75 percent. A Green award goes to districts that reduce emission 25 percent or lower.
Atlanta Public Schools operates 402 buses. Its fleet travels approximately 25,000 miles a day transporting 22,000 students.